The effects of sleep seem pretty obvious; tired, dragging feet, maybe grumpiness. However, sleep isn't so simple and you'd be surprised just how many things sleep,or lack thereof, affects.
You know what's hard to do with lowered awareness, concentration, and reasoning? If you don't, it may be because you haven't gotten enough sleep, because the answer is, learn. That's right, lack of sleep has been directly correlated with a person's ability to learn and retain knowledge. It all comes down to efficiency. Even the smartest people in the world will fall behind their fellow students if they are taking in only 75% of what everyone else is because they can't pay attention and their minds keep drifting.
What's more, and just as important, it is during sleep that much of what we've learned during the day is solidified in our minds. During various sleep cycles, our mind "consolidates" memories from the day. If you don't get enough shut eye, you'll remember fewer lessons learned.
Lack of sleep can contribute to one or all of the following:
We could have done an entire blog entry on this one alone, but that sounded a bit one note. I think we can all acknowledge that the above list is problematic, so let me just leave you with one little tidbit: according to some estimates, 90% of people with sleep deprivation suffer from one of these conditions.
Not that surprising, you say? Sure, your dreams are pretty obviously related to sleep, but think about what is normally blamed for our dreams - our waking life. The idea that how we sleep actually affects our dreams is a relatively new. For example, the position we sleep in will often change the nature of our dreams. For example, if yousleep on your stomach, you are more likely to have racy dreams. And speaking of racy...
Hey, this is a family program, so let's just leave this one right here. But you get the point.
I bet no one has ever said to you, "you look tired; you should sleep or it will go right to your hips." And that's because it's an odd thing to say, but unfortunately, it's true. Lack of sleep has been related to an increase in hunger and appetite. Peptides regulate your appetite and ghrelin stimulates hunger. Shorter sleep times are associated with decreases in leptin and elevations of ghrelin. The math is easy and unpleasant. Luckily, there's an easy weight plan: take a nap!