What Happens If We Don’t Get Enough Sleep?

If you are not having at least 7 hours of sleep every night, then you are undermining all of your efforts. According to many health experts, sleep is a vital source of good health. Many of us are lacking this source of health because of the hectic routines we have in our lives. Making sleep a priority is the first and foremost requirement in our daily life. A good diet, workout, and exercise only work well when you get enough sleep at night. 

So, if you wake up at night, then don’t look at your watch or cell phone because you might be turning and tossing for the next 1 hour or so on. It will disturb your sleeping duration and you will be feeling cranky and tired the next day. 

How Much Sleep One Needs?

All of us feel better when we have a good night’s sleep. You must be getting some targeted sleep number tailored at your age.

Age-Specific Categories  Age Sleep (hours) 
Newborns  0 – 3 months  14 – 17 
Infants  4 – 11 months  12 – 15 
Toddlers  1 – 2 years  11 – 14 
Preschool Children  3 – 5 years  10 – 13 
School-age Children 6 – 13 years  09 – 11 
Teenagers  14 – 17 years  08 – 10 
Young Adults  18 – 25 years  07 – 09
Adults  26 – 64 years  07 – 09 
Older Adults  65+ years  07 – 08

Sleep Deprivation and Its Effects on Your Body

Sleep deprivation is having long-term effects that are real. They drain your mental abilities and your physical health comes at a risk. 

What causes sleep deprivation?

Sleep deprivation is caused because of consistent lack of sleep or reduced quality of sleep. If you are getting less than 7 hours of sleep a day, then your body is not working properly for the next day. Irritability, frequent yawning, excessive sleepiness, daytime fatigue, mood changes, difficulty in remembering and focus, and reduced sex drive are the symptoms of sleep deprivation.

The trouble with Thinking and Concentration

If you don’t get enough good night’s sleep that is required per day, then your brain will not be able to perform at its par. You will not be able to concentrate on your surroundings. Your creativity and problem-solving skills will not be working efficiently. Apart from this, you will have an increased risk-taking behavior. 

You will be making bad decisions all day. It will affect the management style and might be a reason for the disaster. 

Memory Issues

When you are sleeping, your brain forms the connections that help you to remember and process information. If you are not having enough sleep, then the impact will be negative and you will not be able to remember or process the information. Sleep deprivation affects short and long-term memory. One needs enough Rapid Eye Moment (REM) sleep to solidify the memories. 

In REM sleep, your brain moves the information from your short-term memory to the long-term memory. So, if you are not having enough sleep, you are missing out on REM and it affects your memory. 

Weakened Immunity

Your immune system gets weakened if you get too little sleep. Your immune system does not work properly and it cannot defend against common viruses like flu and cold. Whenever you are exposed to these germs, you will get sick. 

Mood Changes

Sleep deprivation makes you quick-tempered, emotional, and moody. It can lead to anxiety, stress, and depression. If sleep deprivation continues, then mental health problems can escalate. When you are sleep deprived, your emotions are more volatile and you see things more negatively. Your brain will be in big trouble and you will keep on waking up in the middle of the night.

The frontal lobe, which is in charge of reasoning, thinking, and logical reasoning balances the amygdala that involves emotions such as aggression, anxiety, fear, and arousal. There comes a decreased connection between these brain centers and as a result, you become more anxious or depressed. 

The Risk for Diabetes

Sleep deprivation affects the body’s release of insulin. It is a blood-sugar-lowering hormone that helps to maintain the level of sugar in the human body. If you are not having enough sleep every night then you will be inviting risk of type-2 diabetes. 

Weight Gain

The chemicals that give signals to your brain when you have eaten enough and full, become off the balance. Hence, if you are sleep deprived, then these chemicals will not be working properly, and eat more than regular times. Overeating will make you gain weight and become fat. 

Risk of Heart Disease

The increased blood pressure or high blood pressure is not good for your heart. Sleep deprivation increases blood pressure and also the chemicals that are linked with inflammation. Both combined, increase the risk of heart disease. You could even get a heart attack or stroke. The risk of heart disease among people who are having breathing issues sleep apnea is greater. 

Sleep deprivation makes your heart work harder and pumps blood to your whole body. It does not get time to rest in a day and slows the circulation of blood. As a result, you increase the risk of heart disease. 

Low Sex Drive

Sleep-deprived people often have a lower libido. The decreased sex drive among men is due to a drop in testosterone levels. The testosterone levels rise when you fall asleep. They are at the peak during the first episode of REM sleep. They remain at their peak until you wake up. If you are having poor sleep, then it can disturb the hormonal process

A Dangerous Driver

Sleep deprivation does not only endanger your life but others too. If you haven’t slept properly and you left for work the next day, then there are chances that you will be having decreased ability of vigilance, alertness, and high order cognitive functions. High-order cognitive function is executive/frontal-lobe functioning that is required for complex activities. 

Sleep deprivation slows down the reaction time as much as driving drunk. One of the major risks is that you can fall asleep behind the wheel. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states 82,000 crashes a year. 886 out of them are fatal due to drowsy driving.

How to Sleep Better?

You can easily keep up all night and have sleep deprivation but it is not fun. You need an adequate schedule for a good night’s sleep. 

Keep a consistent wake time

If you fix a time for waking up daily, it will help you to set a routine and will make you fall asleep earlier at night. Reading a book before going to bed or taking a warm cozy bath also makes you fall asleep at your fixed time

Put away the smartphones and tablets

You need a relaxed state of mind before going to bed. Instead of using smartphones or tablets before falling asleep, put away the devices one hour before bedtime. It will help to fall asleep easily and more quickly. 

Don’t look at the clock

If you wake up during the night, your eyes will look at the numbers on the clock. You will think about the hours spent sleeping and the remaining hours till you wake up. It affects your sleeping time and you might end up turning and tossing for the next few hours. 


There are plenty of health disorders due to lack of sleep, also known as sleep deprivation. It affects your decision-making and also your performance in daily tasks. If you are suffering from sleep deprivation, then you need to work on your sleep schedule.