Why Do We Need Sleep: 6 Dangerous Symptoms Of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep is not just a fun way to relax; it’s necessary for our health and wellbeing. Sleep deprivation isn’t a problem you take lightly. It can affect your mood, your safety, and your health. Why do we need sleep? We need sleep to ensure our bodies are able to rest. This is the rest that builds the immune system, sharpens the mind, and provides energy to the body. Sleep also improves memory function, which is one of the most important brain functions. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you are putting yourself in danger, and you are harming your body.

The problem with sleep is there are only so many hours in the day. People have more to do each day than ever, and sleep is usually the first thing that gets put to the side. When there are not enough hours in the day, people stay up later, get up earlier, and they sacrifice sleep to get it all done. It might feel more productive, but it’s one of the most dangerous things we do to our bodies. Here’s what you need to know about the dangers of sleep deprivation as well as the answer to the age-old question, “Why do we need sleep?”

What Is Sleep Deprivation?

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Sleep deprivation is what happens when you do not get enough sleep. If you don’t sleep at night because of a health condition such as chronic pain, stress, or insomnia, you probably know you’re not getting enough sleep. However, many people have no clue they’re not sleeping enough. The amount of sleep an adult needs at night is anywhere from seven to nine hours. The exact time you need to sleep each night varies by the person, but assume you need approximately eight hours each night to avoid sleep deprivation and function normally.

Sleep deprivation doesn’t happen overnight. If you don’t get a full eight hours of sleep one night, you don’t have a sleep deprivation problem. You’re tired, and you are suffering from a sleep debt, but you can make that up. For example, if you are feeling ill and you’re only able to sleep for four hours, you have a four-hour sleep debt. You can make that up by napping the following day, or you can sleep an hour longer each night for four nights. Typically, not sleeping well or long enough every once in a while is nothing more than an annoyance. Sleep deprivation that becomes an ongoing problem, however, is worrisome.

Why Do We Need Sleep?

Why do we need sleep? We need sleep to live a healthy life. Memory function is one of the most important reasons we need ample sleep each night. Our bodies cannot process, store, and restore memories without the rest the brain gets at night. There is a lot happening in the middle of the night when your body is asleep even if we don’t feel the effects and the benefits of sleep other than in the way we function the following day.

Good sleep allows people to feel more energized, to have more motivation, and to be more productive. You’re able to get more done because you have more energy, and you’re able to perform tasks with better clarity and concentration. Sleep helps the brain reset each night, and it also helps the immune system function properly. Sleep is good for our health, and it’s good for our mind.

Failing to get enough sleep can result in the following problems.

  • ​Respiratory disease
  • ​Weakened immune system
  • ​Risk of type 2 diabetes
  • ​Weight gain
  • ​Risk of cardiovascular disease
  • ​Hormone problems

If you aren’t sleeping enough on a regular basis, you are more likely to suffer from health problems. Your sleep directly affects your hunger, which means you’re more likely to put on weight when you’re tired. Your body produces more insulin when you are sleep deprived, which means your risk of developing diabetes is higher. This increases your risk of cardiovascular disease. Additionally, when your immune system isn’t strong, it takes you longer to get over illnesses.

6 Symptoms You're Not Getting Enough Sleep 

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If you are not getting enough sleep at night, your body will show signs of sleep deprivation. Why do we need sleep? We need sleep to prevent these problems from happening, and each of these problems can lead to bigger health issues.

Memory Issues

Your body needs sleep to process your memories, and a lack of sleep can make it difficult for you to remember things. You might joke you can’t remember what you had for breakfast this morning or assume forgetting things is due to age, but your lack of sleep can cause your memory to suffer. This can cause problems at home, at work, and everywhere else.

Weight Gain

Not sleeping enough causes your body to crave foods you shouldn’t eat. You’re more likely to find yourself craving carbohydrates, fats, and sugars because your body wants them to stay away. You might notice you’re gaining weight because you cannot seem to stop overeating and making poor nutrition choices. Getting enough sleep at night makes you more likely to choose healthy meal options, which benefits your waistline.

No Motivation

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When you’re tired, your body doesn’t want to function. You will find you don’t have the energy to do anything, nor do you have the motivation to get started doing anything. You feel lazy, and you feel tired enough though you did nothing. Your productivity levels suffer, and that affects every aspect of your life.

Feelings of Depression

Why do we need sleep? We need sleep to be in a good mood. When you don’t sleep well at night, your body is more susceptible to feelings of depression and sadness. This might not mean you suffer from depression in a clinical sense, but you might feel down, unhappy, and you might struggle to find joy in everyday activities. This is a very real situation, and you must talk to your doctor about how you feel.

Difficulty Concentrating

Your brain needs sleep to function properly. When your brain does not function properly, it’s impossible to concentrate. You become unable to retain information, you cannot focus, and you spend time feeling as if you are in a fog. This problem can cause you to lose concentration when you’re driving, which gives you that feeling you get when you are driving somewhere and have no memory of the drive. It’s dangerous.


Moodiness

Few people find it easy to be in a good mood when they are sleep deprived. Your mood is affected by the time you spent in bed, and it’s more likely to be bad when you’re tired. If you don’t get enough sleep one night, you might just feel tired the next day. If you’re not sleeping well every night, you will probably recognize that your mood is foul. You might start noticing you snap easily, you’re not as patient as usual, you have no tolerance, and it will affect the way you work and the way your family functions. Your stress level and a bad mood can affect everyone around you.

How to Improve Sleep

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If you notice symptoms of sleep deprivation, it’s imperative you make sleep a priority in your life. It’s time to prioritize the activities and obligations in your life, and it’s time to let some things go. You can improve your sleep by scheduling a routine. Try going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time each morning. Shut off all electronics one hour before you go to bed and try doing something that slows down your body and makes you feel tired.

A warm bath, yoga, reading a book, sex, meditation, and other relaxation techniques can help your body feel tired faster. If that doesn’t work, you can speak to your doctor about getting the help you need. Not everyone loses sleep because they’re just too busy. Many people lose sleep because they have health issues that prevent them from sleeping well. If this is your problem, you can speak to your doctor about finding a way to sleep more at night. Treatment options are available, and your doctor can help you find the help you need to improve your sleep and quality of life.

Conclusion

Why do we need sleep? It's because the effects of sleep deprivation are far reaching. You are more likely to be involved in a car accident, to suffer from health issues, and to isolate yourself from your friends and family. Your work will suffer, your quality of life will decrease significantly, and you might find yourself in a bad place emotionally.

If you feel you’re suffering from sleep deprivation or you are close to it, call your doctor right away. Your doctor can help if none of these tips make it easier for you to get more sleep at night. Your health and your future depend on your sleep habits, and it's time to create healthy sleep habits. Why do we need sleep? We need sleep to live a high-quality life.

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