Many people don’t realize that sleep is as essential to your health and well being as diet and exercise.

Getting an adequate amount of sleep each night is important to remaining mentally and physically healthy. Experts recommend people get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

Sometimes a lack of sleep is a result of a hectic schedule, and other times it’s the result of sleeping disorders like sleep apnea.

Whatever your reason is, being a poor sleeper will inevitably worsen other aspects of your life and health. This article will provide seven side effects of being a poor sleeper you might not have known about.

1) Lack of Sleep Causes Accidents

When you’re a poor sleeper and you don’t get enough sleep, your day to day life is affected. Everything you would normally do is done through the haze of drowsiness.

Sleeping recharges your batteries and makes all of your senses sharper. When you don’t sleep enough, your senses dull and accidents happen.

Driving a car while tired causes just as many accidents as driving while drunk. Drowsy driving reduces your reaction time and can cause you to lose control of the wheel.

Many drivers are falling asleep at the wheel as the result of not getting enough sleep. You may think you don’t have time to sleep 7-9 hours a night, but it’s better than risking your life and the lives of others on the road.

2) Lack of Sleep Ruins Your Skin

When you’re asleep your entire body is able to repair itself.

As a result, your skin looks healthy and has a glow to it. When you stop sleeping regularly, your skin gets sallow and dark circles from under your eyes.

If you’re frequently a poor sleeper, wrinkles and under-eye bags can form. Not sleeping causes your skin to be puffy and irritated.

It’s a good idea to apply night cream to your face so that is can absorb during the hours you’re asleep. It’s also a good idea to sleep with an eye mask to block any incoming light. This might help you sleep more hours, as the sun won’t wake you up first thing in the morning.

3) Lack of Sleep Causes Weight Gain

The same foods you reach for when you’re hungover are the foods you reach for when you’re tired.

When you’re tired, your body wants quick access to sugars and carbs so that it can easily convert them to energy. Your body craves high-calorie foods because it wants to make up for the lack of energy from not sleeping.

When you’re well rested you reach for healthier options because your body isn’t craving an immediate jolt of energy. If you’re a poor sleeper, examine your eating habits and you’ll realize that you’re choosing low-quality foods.

Weight gain is one way that not sleeping ruins your health.

4) Lack of Sleep Affects Your Mood

You’ve figured out by now that not sleeping can make you moody and emotional.

When you don’t sleep, your hormones become off balance and this can cause mood swings. Your brain isn’t rested enough to respond rationally to emotional triggers. This can cause you to lash out at others and ruin your relationships.

Not sleeping can also trigger bouts of anxiety or depression. Your brain needs sleep to rest itself and ward off these mental health issues.

5) Lack of Sleep Decreases Your Sex Drive

It is difficult to get turned on when all you want to do is fall into bed.

Not sleeping will cause your sex drive to decrease and could strain your relationship with your romantic partner.

When you’re tired your body will prioritize sleep over sex. Not sleeping can decrease the levels of testosterone in your body. Low testosterone is linked to a lower sex drive.

6) Lack of Sleep Will Reduce Critical Thinking Skills

Not sleeping well can make you a less efficient worker.

If you’re a poor sleeper, your brain slows down and you’re not able to think clearly.

Your concentration and creative thinking skills are weakened when you don’t sleep well. This can cause you to lose opportunities at work and be viewed as an incompetent employee.

Make sure you’re showing up to work every day well rested so that your brain can operate in its optimal condition.

7) Lack of Sleep Leads to Long-Term Diseases

Being a poor sleeper can lead to serious and long-lasting diseases.

These include diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

When you don’t sleep enough, insulin levels in your body could drop. Insulin is produced by the body to convert glucose into energy. This helps the glucose not negatively affect your heart. When you’re body doesn’t produce enough insulin, you could suffer from type two diabetes.

Sleep is an essential component in preventing long-term diseases. Sleeping well gives you an overall better bill of health. Someone who is tired from not sleeping well is at a higher risk to develop life-threatening diseases.

Take These Effects of Being a Poor Sleeper to Heart

Be sure to consider these effects of being a poor sleeper and don’t try to ignore the problem.

If you have sleeping issues like sleep apnea or insomnia, it’s important that you address those issues. Addressing them might even save your life or keep you from developing a number of diseases.

Don’t ignore sleeping issues. When you sleep well, your entire life runs smoother and you’re able to make better decisions. Sleeping well helps you be your best both mentally and physically.

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