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What are the risks and dangers of lack of sleep for an otherwise healthy young person? How can we sleep better in our modern fast paced world?

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We must face the fact that most of us young teenagers love to stay awake late into the night and get up late the next day. Of course getting up late only happens during our weekends. During the week, we teenagers love staying up late, we try to get our beauty sleep but our dreams are interrupted abruptly early in the morning, when we have to get up from bed and prepare to go to school.

As you all know, social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, snapchat keeps us entertained late through the night. Even Netflix have us glued to our tablets and phones and it is not easy letting go of these things for young people like us. We feel we are in the trend just by being in touch with social media. Some of the school kids get shamed and booed just because they didn't have a Facebook account or other social media accounts.

I understand the temptations is too strong to stay awake late into the night everyday but in the morning, I always get up feeling groggy and sleepy. I try to get at least 6 and half hours of sleep everyday. Some days, I try to behave well and go to sleep early, only to lie down in bed with wide awake eyes. I feel like something is not done yet and unless those things are not done, I can't sleep. I dunno if it is something related to psychological problem or bad habits but it is something that needs getting rid of.

What I am worried about is if sleeping for 6 and half hours daily is enough or not. Why is it I still always feel tired and sleepy even though scientist says that a person can survive on 6 and half hours sleep everyday. Since I am a young lady, I could take the stress from sleeping less hours each night. But could a person who is middle aged or going into their 60s be able to cope with the lack of sleep?
asked in Meadow Lake by Michael

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1 Answer

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What may seem like a harmless thing such as sleeping for less hours for young people, may very well turned out to be the most dangerous thing that could happen to anyone. Of course, you may feel alright sleeping only a few hours each night and still continue on your life normally. What you don't know is that your body is not getting enough sleep and very soon your body will be showing signs of health problems. By that time, it could be too late to save you from health problems linked to lack of sleep. Doctors recommend at least 6 and half hours of sleep everyday, and the more the better. Your body needs sleep to repairs itself including your brain function and mind.

Below are the list of various health problems you could potentially face due to lack of proper sleep:

1. Sleep deprivation leads to fatigueness which eventually causes accidents while driving, working, walking, or standing. How many times have you heard the news in your local place about some driver falling asleep on the wheel and causing accident killing themselves and the other drivers on the road.

2. Improper sleep impairs your attention span, makes you less alert, reduces your concentration level, clouds your problem solving and reasoning skills.

3. Loss of sleep and sleep disorder can lead to certain health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, heart attack, heart failure, irregular heart beat, heart disease, and even hair loss. For anyone looking to stop hair loss, you might want to look into lack of sleep as one of the culprit of hair loss.

4. Men and women who don't sleep enough often have less sex drive. Sometimes a sleep disorder like sleep apnea can be the culprit for loss of sleep for some people. Studies have found that they have very low testosterone level in their body caused by sleep deprivation. You may have experienced loss of interest in sex with your partner when you are feeling very sleepy and in an agitated mood. All these symptoms are linked to general insufficient amount of sleep.

5. Over time, if you don't have enough sleep every night, you could start to fall into a depression mode. Have you ever felt hopeless some days and nothing seemed to be working fine for you? You could be losing sleep and this could very well be the main reason. Not enough sleep leads to depression.

6. Did you ever feel someone of your age looks much older than you do? Blame it on sleep loss and deprivation. Skin throughout body gets saggy and eyes gets puffy with black circles.

7. Young people who are still at the age of growing will find their height growth and mental growth effected In a bad way. Strange as it might sound, lack of sleep inhibits growth hormones from functioning properly in young people.  

8. You think you may be having dementia? You may be wrong. It could simply be sleep deprivation. It leads to forgetfulness and short term memory. You may not remember simple stuff or about the events that just happened to you few days ago. Trying to search your memory will prove useless as well because your brain needs good enough rest to function correctly.

9. Are you struggling to lose your belly fat and overall weight? What if you were told lack of sleep is stopping you from achieving your weight loss goals? Believe it because there have been many cases when people realized the importance of getting a good night's sleep, they start having better control of their weight loss problem. Some people say sleeping too much will cause weight gain in your body but in reality, things are quite the opposite. Improper amount of sleep makes you gain weight faster.

10. A young guy once volunteered to undergo intense lack of sleep for a research experiment purpose in some scientific institution. He volunteered to go without sleep for a week and the scientist were documenting what happens to a human body due to sleep deprivation. Whenever the young guy would be about to fall asleep, the researcher would blast very bright intense light to simulate sunlight on him, to prevent him from sleeping. First few days went by without serious complication. On the 4th day, the young guy started to get all those symptoms that usually only old people gets. High blood pressure, irregular heart beat recordings, depression, lack of cognitive function, memory loss, and all sorts of problem started to appear. The young guy gave up holding it for 6 days only and couldn't continue the experiment further. He explained that he felt like his body and mind had been death long before during the middle of the week around 5th day. His sensation of things and feelings were all numb and insensitive. Probably his nerves were playing havoc on him. This goes to show even young people are no exception to sleep problem.

11. I knew someone who lost his left ear completely and became deaf on his left ear, all because he wouldn't get enough sleep for a week. It took him only one week to make him deaf in one ear. It was some celebration time for him and his friends and he had promised his friends to spend as much time with them gambling and drinking, and only sleeping 3 or 4 hours a day. In the end, who is to be blamed for a deaf ear, no one but himself and his carelessness.
answered by Heather

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