Are you having trouble sleeping or not getting enough sleep?

Tired Businesswoman with poor sleepIf you’re sleeping poorly or not getting enough sleep, your body and mind are effected. These effects range from fatigue you notice the next day, to long-term effects on your mental and physical health.

What are the immediate effects of poor sleep?

If you aren’t sleeping well, the short-term immediate effects span feeling more tired the following day, to having difficulties with focusing on tasks and keeping your concentration.

The effects of poor sleep are invasive including:

• Focus on the negative aspects of things
• Greater recall for negative than positive events
• Negatively impact your experience of the day and how you interact with others
• Dealing with the ups and downs of each day becomes harder
• Fluctuating moods
• More easily irritated

Safety emerges as another area of concern as another immediate effect of poor sleep , is increased potential for work-related and driving accidents. After a poor night’s sleep the risk of motor vehicle accidents goes up considerably, as does the risk of making errors, either at work or in our day-to-day activities.

Long-term effects of poor sleep can be devastating.

The long-term effects of poor sleep can be subdivided into three main categories:

1. Impact on General Health

Poor sleep , including insomnia, in the longer term can change the way your body handles energy and increases the risk of obesity. There is increasing evidence that poor sleep also changes our food choices with a preference for more carbohydrates, increased calories and reduced protein.

In addition, when you’re tired, you’re less likely to make healthy food choices, choosing snack foods over meals. This combination of food choices, increased calories, and the change in the way the body handles energy increases your risk of obesity.

Poor sleep also reduces your ability to recover from physical activity, which can make you less likely to exercise. When you’re feeling fatigued, a common pattern is to try and catch up with extra sleep by resting in bed instead of exercising. This can exacerbate the weight gain associated with changes in eating and behaviour patterns with poor sleep.

2. Medical effects of sleep problems

Poor sleep in the longer term has a number of effects on other medical conditions. It increases the risk of type 2 Diabetes with the body not handling sugar loads as well in the setting of poor sleep. There is also an increased risk of high blood pressure, particularly those who average less than five hours of sleep per night over a long period of time.

3. Mental health effects

It has long been known that poor sleep is a risk factor for the development of depression. There are a number of studies showing that young adults with poor sleep are at a greater risk of the development of depression later in life. The same data holds for anxiety, with poor sleep often being a precursor of the development of generalised anxiety.

To sum up, given the effects of poor sleep on physical and mental health, sleep is one of the pillars of good health and should be considered as important as nutrition and exercise.

Need more information about how you can sleep better?

At Sleephub we understand the struggle people endure with sleeping problems which is why we have created a comprehensive FAQs page with information for those seeking information about sleep disorders and potential solutions.

Check the SleepHub FAQs or take our Sleep Wellness Quiz for a free assessment of elements that may be keeping you from a good night’s sleep. Click through to the Quiz.

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