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7 Surprising Effects of Sleep Deprivation & How to Avoid Them

A recent study showed 37% of Brits weren’t getting enough sleep¹, yet many people still don’t understand the effects of sleep deprivation or what sleep deprivation does to you.

While 37% is a massive number, when daylight savings comes on March 27th, almost all of us will suffer some sort of temporary sleep deprivation.

An increasing amount of evidence shows that a lack of sleep in both the short and long term can cause serious physiological side effects. It’s no wonder so many people all over the country are using science-backed weighted blankets to improve their nightly rests!

Keep reading to learn more about the side effects of sleep deprivation and what steps you can take to help alleviate them.

The side effects of sleep deprivation

1. Lack of alertness and problems concentrating

The side effects of sleep deprivation

Many of the main side effects of sleep deprivation pertain to cognitive function. This includes alertness, focus, and concentration.

In fact, studies have proven that a lack of sleep can impact cognitive function in a number of ways. Difficulties focussing, decreased alertness, inattention, and decision making are a few of the many side effects of sleep-deprivation.²

Cognitive impairment can impact your work, social life, self-worth, and family relationships. It’s crucial to protect yourself from sleep deprivation to avoid these negative side effects.

2. Impaired memory

The side effects of a lack of sleep

Another common side effect of sleep deprivation is a reduced ability to form short-term and long-term memories.

Sleep-deprived people are known to have a decreased ability to store memory. But studies also show that those who maintain good sleep habits throughout their lives have better memory retention as seniors!³

This means that the side effects of sleep deprivation could impact you for the rest of your life!

3. Low mood and mood swings

What sleep deprivation does to you

One of the most troublesome side effects of sleep deprivation is its impact on moods and emotions.

Research has found that even a small amount of sleep deprivation has a major impact on one’s mood.⁴ Prolonged sleep deprivation can even lead to mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.⁴

This is especially problematic because anxiety and depression are linked with an increase in sleep problems. This makes it even more difficult to get the rest your mind and body need to recover from this terrible side effect.

4. Weakened immunity

What a lack of sleep does to your body

Immune system function has been a major topic of conversation over the past two years for obvious reasons. And it turns out that weakened immunity is one of many things sleep deprivation does to you.

According to this research,⁵ a lack of sleep can have a negative impact on immune system function. Studies have shown that individuals who have had less sleep have a greater chance of becoming ill after being exposed to a virus.⁵

In today’s world, we are all concerned about our immune system health for good reason, making getting good quality sleep even more important.

5. Unwanted weight gain

What a lack of sleep does to your brain

Many people working desk jobs have trouble maintaining their physical health due to a lack of activity in their lives. For this reason, plenty of Brits attempt diets in order to lose weight or improve their physical health.

Studies have shown, however, that a lack of sleep can prevent the effectiveness of many diets, negatively impacting your weight loss goals.⁶ This is because a lack of sleep negatively affects your body’s ability to adapt to caloric deficits as well as increases impulsive eating and food cravings.⁶

So, if you’re looking to lose weight, you might want to add a few extra hours of sleep to your plan.

6. Increased risk of diabetes

What sleep deprivation does to your body

Diabetes is an incredibly common condition that impacts many people all over the UK.

According to the the University of Chicago Journal of Medicine, sleep deprivation “may disrupt fat metabolism and reduce the ability of insulin to regulate blood sugars.”⁷

Because sleep deprivation can negatively impact your body’s ability to manage blood glucose, getting quality sleep is important in the prevention and maintenance of diabetes.⁷

7. Increased risk of early death

What sleep deprivation does to your brain

With all the above side effects of sleep loss mentioned above, it should be no question why sleep deprivation is bad for you.

In a comprehensive study of over 1 million participants and over one hundred thousand deaths, researchers found a significant link between sleep deprivation and early death.

While that may sound alarming, there are many simple solutions to sleep deprivation that don’t involve costly medications, treatment plans, and therapies.

What can you do to prevent the side effects of sleep deprivation?

Do weighted blankets prevent sleep deprivation?

The easy answer is to practice good sleep hygiene and habits. Our science-backed collection of weighted blankets makes getting quality sleep super easy!

These best-selling blankets use a therapeutic technique that is scientifically proven to reduce insomnia as well as improve sleep quality and onset time.

Using Deep Pressure Therapy, weighted blankets can lower stress hormones that make it difficult to fall and stay asleep. In addition, they also boost happy hormones that are required for the production of melatonin, the hormone that aids in promoting healthy sleep!

If you want to avoid the negative side effects of sleep deprivation, shop our kuddly Blanket collection. See why millions of people all over the world use weighted blankets for improving their sleep.

Shop Weighted Blankets

References on the effects of sleep deprivation

  1. https://time.com/4548883/brits-not-sleeping-enough/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2656292/
  3. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/little-sleep-much-affect-memory-201405027136
  4. https://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/need-sleep/whats-in-it-for-you/mood#:~:text=The%20Link%20Between%20Sleep%20and%20Mood&text=Studies%20have%20shown%20that%20even,%2C%20sad%2C%20and%20mentally%20exhausted.
  5. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/lack-of-sleep/faq-20057757#:~:text=Yes%2C%20lack%20of%20sleep%20can,if%20you%20do%20get%20sick.
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2951287/
  7. https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/forefront/news/new-study-helps-explain-links-between-sleep-loss-and-diabetes#:~:text=The%20study%20provides%20evidence%20for,sleep%20may%20disrupt%20fat%20metabolism.
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2864873/
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