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Harmful Effects of Sleep Deprivation

If you don’t sleep enough, you are putting your future at risk. Think this doesn’t affect you? Think again. If you’re getting less than eight hours of sleep a night, we’re talking about you.

Sleep deprivation is a leading cause of falling grades amongst high school students, with an estimated 70% of students not getting enough ‘shut-eye’. But that’s not the shocking part.

Lack of sleep can damage your body and mind.

Potential Weight Gain

Sleeping less than seven or eight hours a night causes dramatic impairment in judgement, and can lead to poor decision making, such as poor food choices like junk food. The chemicals in your body, responsible for making you feel full (Leptin), drop, therefore you don’t feel as full as you normally would, so you will probably eat more.

Developmental Delays
Hormones that help you grow and build muscle mass, are released during sleep – vital during puberty. If these are disrupted, developmental delays and health problems are highly likely, meaning more time off school and health problems in later life.

Memory Loss
Sleep helps us refine how we store memory, but a lack of sleep can lead to permanent brain issues, such as memory loss.

Impairs Concentration
Without enough sleep, your brain cannot work properly, making learning at school more difficult. This can lead to significant drops in grades and the inability to absorb information – disastrous for school students wanting good grades. A foggy mind cannot concentrate and can lead to hyperactivity, a real disruptive behaviour in the classroom.

Weakens Resilience
A constant lack of sleep causes irritability and frustration and can lessen your ability to cope with stress. In many cases of depression, sleep deprivation is often a factor. Getting a good night’s sleep can strengthen your capacity to handle a difficult and stressful situation, and will make you feel happier and more in control – really important for students who are studying for exams.

Premature Ageing

You might be young and fresh-faced now, but persistent lack of sleep causes you to age prematurely. Refusing eight hours of sleep a night can lead to fine lines, dull skin and dark circles under your eyes. This is caused by your body releasing more of the stress hormone, cortisol when it doesn’t get enough rest. Eventually, you will age much faster, so get lots of shut-eye; they don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing!