Everyone knows that sleep is important, but many of us still don’t get enough of it. Of course sleep deprivation depletes your energy and makes it difficult to focus on things. Read on to learn more ways that sleep deprivation affects your body and mind.
It can dampen your sex drive.
According to research, getting six hours of sleep or less each night can lead to lower levels of testosterone in both women and men. If you combine that with lower levels of energy, drowsiness, and more tension because of a lower stress threshold, sex is not going to be the first thing on your mind.
It can age your skin.
Not getting enough sleep does a lot more to the way you look than just giving you under-eye bags. Your body responds by releasing extra cortisol (the stress hormone), which can break down your skin’s collagen and make it more likely to become wrinkled, discolored, and dull. The skin also depends on human growth hormone (HGH) to replenish and repair itself. HGH is released when you get a good night’s sleep, so you’re not getting enough HGH release if you don’t rest well, which can affect the body, night after night.
It makes it more difficult for you to recognize facial expressions.
According to a study out of UC Berkeley, sleep deprivation makes it more difficult to read faces. Eighteen healthy participants were asked to interpret 70 facial expressions, once after they had a good night of sleep and again after they stayed awake for a period of 24 hours. Brain scans showed that when the individuals were deprived of sleep, they could not tell the difference between a threatening facial expression and a friendly one because the emotion-sensing parts of their brains were overestimating threat’s presence.
It makes you feel hungrier.
Studies have shown that sleep deprivation affects the brain’s pleasure response processing in relation to cravings and hunger. The hunger hormones (leptin and ghrelin) are thrown off. Leptin tells you when you are full and ghrelin signals hunger. When you are sleep deprived, leptin typically decreases and ghrelin increases.
It can cause depression symptoms.
Some studies have shown that individuals who suffered from insomnia were at risk of experiencing depression five times more than a person who gets enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can worsen depression symptoms and depression can actually make it more difficult for some people to fall asleep, which is a tough cycle to break. If you believe your depression is linked to poor sleep quality, begin by visiting a professional who can help you treat sleep issues or lifestyle habits that may be contributing to your symptoms.