Sleep Deprivation Can Be Deadly
Getting good sleep may not be at the top of your priority list each day, but it should be. While the exact reason why sleep is essential for human wellness is still under investigation, research shows that sleep is vital to our mental and physical health and should be taken seriously. The health and wellness benefits of getting a full night of quality sleep each day are talked and written about extensively, but let’s take a moment to look into the consequences of sleep deprivation. It can be deadly.
How much sleep?
For optimal functionality and wellness, adults need an average of 7-10 hours of quality sleep a night. Everyone’s needs are a little different, and you have to figure out what works best for you.
In a major sleep study, almost 80% of respondents admitted that they were not getting enough sleep.
We don’t get enough sleep
- 23% of people get less than 6 hours of sleep at night. Only 7% get at least 8 hours.
- 65% of Americans lose sleep because of stress.
- Humans can survive longer without food than they can without sleep.
- 649,401 – The average person sleeps 649,401 hours during his or her lifetime.
- Women spend 32% more time awake at night than men.
- On average, people sleep 20% less than they did 100 years ago.
- A lack of sleep causes 20% of all car crashes – Fatigue is a factor in 100,000 auto crashes and 1,550 crash-related deaths a year in the US
- 60% of adults in the US have driven while drowsy, and about one-third of people have actually fallen asleep at the wheel.
- 16 hours of sleeplessness makes a person as impaired as having a 0.05% blood alcohol level.
- 18+ hours of sleeplessness makes a person as impaired as having a 0.08% blood alcohol level. (legally drunk)
- A week of 5-hour sleep nights also leaves a person in the ‘sleep drunk’ state, according to a Harvard study.
Time to wake up for work
- A recent study found that US companies lose an average of $1,967 in productivity per year per sleep-deprived
- It is estimated that U.S. employers lose $18 billion in lost productivity due to the effects of sleep loss on work performance.
- 1 in 20 first-year medical residents makes a fatal fatigue-related error.
Losing Sleep Can Make You Lose Your Mind and Health
After one night of sleep loss you’ll be:
- Hungrier and apt to eat more
- More likely to have an accident
- Not looking your best – or you’re most approachable
- More likely to catch a cold
- Losing brain tissue
- More likely to get emotional
- Less focused and having memory problems
Research has linked short-term sleep deprivation with a tendency to fill up on bigger portions, an increased preference for high-calorie, high-carb foods, and a greater likelihood of choosing unhealthy foods while grocery shopping. In addition, numerous studies support the correlation between chronic sleep deprivation and increased obesity risk.
Your sleep loss also causes you to be:
- 27% more likely to gain weight with 6 hours of sleep
- 73% more likely to gain weight with 5 hours of sleep
As your sleep loss compounds, so does the potential for major health problems.
Sleep deprivation silently steals your health as your risk for:
- Stoke quadruples
- Obesity doubles
- Some cancers may triple
- Diabetes increases
- Heart disease increases
- Risk of death increased
Not only does a lack of sleep increase your risk of developing depression by ten times, but early studies have also linked lack of sleep to both colorectal and aggressive breast cancers, and decreased sperm count in men.
If that’s not enough to convince you sleep is crucial to your overall wellness, perhaps this sleep study showing that a lack of quality sleep can literally kill you will. Researchers followed a large group of men and women for over 10 years, and even after adjusting for other factors, their findings showed that men who slept fewer than six hours had a significant increase in mortality risk. Making sure you get quality sleep is essential to good health.
- Guinness World Records no longer track the longest period without sleep – it’s considered too dangerous. (But sword swallowing and glass eating are OK.)
- One night without sleep leaves you performing like you were legally drunk at a blood alcohol content of 0.08