While the scientific community is still divided on exactly why humans sleep, there is a consensus on the effects of sleep deprivation, and they are not good.
While most of us have had a sleepless night or two and have a vague understanding on how it can effect a person, the reality is that the consequences of sleep deprivation are far worse than most people can imagine.
The list of negative physical and psychological issues that can be caused by sleep deprivation reads like a roll call of the illnesses and conditions that haunt humanity. Here is a partial list, just to give you an idea: aching muscles, confusion and memory lapses or loss, depression, hallucinations, hand tremors, headaches, malaise, sensitivity to cold, bloodshot eyes, periorbital puffiness, increased blood pressure, increased stress hormones, increased risk of diabetes, increased risk of fibromyalgia, irritability, obesity and yawning.
And this is just a partial list. As you can see, sleep deprivation has a wide range of negative impacts on both physical and mental health. While many of these are associated with chronic sleep problems, many can be experienced after even a single missed night’s sleep.
As with any medical issue, if you have any concerns please consult a professional.
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