What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep

M & N MattressSleep, Sleep Deprivation, Sleep Health, sleep tips


By the time most of us reach adulthood, we have probably pulled a few all-nighters, and are likely to do it again. While there are always going to be reasons to stay up all night, whether you have a work or school project due, are busy making preparations for an event, or have to catch an early flight the next day, it is important to remember to get a healthy night’s rest as often as possible. Without regular, healthy sleep, you can cause a number of problems for yourself in terms of both your short and long term health.

Sleep deprivation is often the cause, or at least related to the cause of a great deal of health problems found in adults. Both major and minor health issues can emerge if you are not able to get a good night’s sleep, some of which you may not even be aware of. Even people who have to stay up late for even a single night can feel the ramifications of sleep deprivation. Mental faculties such as memory and reflexes are definitely not functioning at peak efficiency after staying up all night, nor will your emotional state be as stable if you are suffering from fatigue. In the long term, a lack of sleep can severely affect your overall health by causing such major issues as obesity, diabetes and immune system deficiencies which can even lead to cancer in some cases.

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In addition to causing some major health problems, sleep deprivation can also exacerbate the effects of existing health issues. In the case of children, sleep deprivation can worsen any behavioural issues or leaning disabilities, not to mention the negative long term effects sleep deprivation can have on a child’s growth. Many studies have revealed that children of today are exposed to a higher number of sleep inhibitors, one of the major ones being the exposure to unnatural light, such as that of a computer screen, as well as increased use of the internet, which can cause a higher amount of brain activity before bed.

Although healthy sleep is essential to a child’s proper development, adults can experience just as many negative effects of sleep deprivation as a child. In some cases, many issues that an adult may already experience, such as constipation and ulcers will be worsened by a lack of sleep. The impacts of a declining immune system, particularly in older adults, can be felt for years to come. Even later in life, adults can be susceptible to diabetes, which is more likely to occur if you are awake and eating at irregular hours. You may also increase your risk of developing neurological diseases in later life such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease.

Ways to Improve Sleep

Fortunately, there are many ways to help get the rest you need each night to stay healthy without having to get a prescription for sleep medication. To help improve your sleep, you can do such things as:

• Take a hot bath or shower within 2 hours of falling asleep
• Reduce your exposure to light after sunset to balance your melatonin and serotonin levels
• Keep the temperature in your bedroom below 20 degrees Celsius
• Avoid watching TV or using the computer or other electronic device with a bright screen before bed
• Avoid alcohol, nicotine or caffeine before bed

Hopefully, some of these tips can help you start to get a better night’s sleep. You can also visit us at M&N Mattress if you have any questions about what kinds of mattresses or bedding products will help you get a better sleep as well. We have been helping residents all over the Parksville and Nanaimo areas of Vancouver Island get the best sleep possible each night, and we would be happy to do the same for you! Feel free to check out our website or follow us on Twitter and Facebook to receive the latest about new products, healthy sleep tips and other helpful information.