The Real Price of a Bad Night's Sleep
Here's how more (and better) sleep could boost your body, your health, even your job opportunities.
Sleep is often the first thing that goes when life gets too full and too busy. But here’s a wake-up call: Too little sleep not only sabotages your next day’s performance, but it can actually harm your health. Here’s why skimping on sleep is risky behavior.
An invitation to fat. Can’t seem to work away those love handles, no matter how much you try? Sleep deprivation can lead to an imbalance of various weight-related hormones that encourage your cells to store excess fat and lower your body’s fat-burning ability.
Risk for disease. Just one night of too little sleep can increase insulin resistance, even in healthy people, according to results of a small study in the Netherlands. Insulin resistance is a trigger for high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Accidents on the road. Drowsy driving causes more than 100,000 crashes a year, resulting in 40,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Decreased immunity. Research shows that people who sleep less than seven hours a night may be almost three times as likely to catch a cold as those who sleep eight hours or more. On the flip side, researchers found that the longer and better people sleep, the better they’re able to fight infection. Quality of sleep may count even more than quantity. Those who spend as little as 25 minutes a night tossing and turning face more than five times the risk of sniffling and sneezing.
Passed-by promotions. Poor sleep habits could cost you your job. Getting less sleep—as little as 90 minutes less per night—could cause as much as a one-third reduction in daytime alertness. Your ability to think and process information, make decisions, communicate, and remember important details will suffer as well.
Maybe it’s time to skip The Late Show.
Join the Conversation
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!