Sleep Debt Affects
This blog was created for us to understand the effects of sleep deprivation and how our bodies react to lack of sleep.
Statistics show that sleep is getting lower and lower, we are now getting less and less sleep daily. It would be good to know what that is doing to our bodies. Sleep is one of the most vital things we could do for our bodies, it is important for all our bodily functions. If we want our bodies to function as it should, we need to focus more on our sleep. There is a reason why we typically spend a third of our lives asleep, or at least we used to. To fully understand the importance of sleep and how it benefits, head over to the Importance of Sleep blog.
First, we need to know what sleep debt means. Sleep debt is like financial debt, but instead of owing money, we owe sleep. The difference from financial debt is that sleep debt is sleep being owed to ourselves. If we continue to deprive ourselves of sleep, if we keep disregarding sleep and having late nights, we start to accumulate a larger and larger sleep debt. We start to owe our bodies more and more sleep. The larger the debt, the longer it will take for us to repay that to our bodies. What we must realise is that we cannot pay back long term sleep debt with just one night where we sleep in. This means if you have long term sleep deprivation, you need a while to make it up, you can't just sleep one long sleep and think it's over. This is why we need to consistently give our bodies enough sleep.
Sleep debt is a real thing that most adults are suffering from. The thing is that we don’t usually know we are suffering from it as the symptoms are subtle and very similar to other conditions and symptoms. We usually point our fingers at other problems that we face. But nevertheless, sleep deprivation could be the underlying factor of many issues. Some of the major effects of sleep deprivation are:
Negatives of lack of sleep:
-increased leaky gut
-increase fat mass
-increased insulin resistance
Sleep debt is dangerous because the negative effects don’t show after one night or one week of sleep deprivation, it is an accumulation. So when things do go wrong, we think ‘it can’t be my lack of sleep, I’ve been sleeping this little since forever!?’. Long term sleep debt is when our bodies start to suffer the most. When we sleep, it is prime time for our bodies to recover, hormonal wise and cell wise. There is not a single cell that doesn’t benefit from sleep. Our bodies work differently when we sleep compared to when we are awake, and the functions our bodies go through, the cleanse and recovery it goes through when we sleep is of utmost importance. If we have long term sleep debt, we are consistently not giving our bodies the time to go through its daily cleanse. That’s when our bodies start to suffer from differing conditions.
The only way we can recover from sleep debt is to repay our sleep! This means getting at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night. I know getting that every night might not be the most realistic thing, but we need to attempt to get it on most nights. If we know that we have been suffering from sleep debt for a long time now, we need to focus more on getting good consistent sleep. Attempt, whenever you can, to get 7-8 hours sleep minimum, if you can get a sleep in on weekends, sleep more. Focus on repaying your sleep debt as much as you can. You will start to feel the benefit of getting enough sleep!
I hope we can all start to pay attention to more sleep and the benefits of getting sleep. It is of utmost importance!
To get tips on improving sleep quality, read the Methods of Improving Sleep blog.