19Sleep deprivation is often overlooked these days. Nowadays it’s become almost a kind of culture to praise people who lose sleep trying to work more or achieve more. You might call it a hustle culture or whatever else. It isn’t found in every culture on Earth, obviously, but you can definitely find people preaching this kind of thing everywhere. While it’s well-known that sleep is incredibly important to the human body (regeneration, memory forming, information processing), sometimes people seem to neglect this important function.
You can get in a sort of a sleep debt if you don’t sleep enough. As many people have probably noticed, your body requires a certain amount of hours to complete all of its nightly duties. If you sleep less than intended, your will most likely need to sleep more during the next sleep cycle to recuperate. As such, your sleep debt is paid. This doesn’t set back all the damage you might’ve done to your body by sleep deprivation, especially if energizers (coffee, energy drinks) are used constantly, but it does give a boost. In time, however, you will notice changes as a result of this vicious cycle.
Lower productivity as a result of sleep deprivation
You might think you’re being productive by choosing to work or study more instead of sleeping, but in the long run you are doing more harm than good. Your mind gets progressively more tired as weeks, months and years go by and you see a drop in your ability to do any intellectual activity. This will undoubtedly affect the way you handle problems. Simple solutions might suddenly become more complicated than they should be. You can’t learn things as fast as you used to. Sleep deprivation, however, does a lot more damage than making you a bit slower in the intellectual department.
Mental illness effects are exacerbated
If you are an anxious person by nature you will find that in time your anxiety gets worse and worse. It might worsen to the point of having multiple daily panic attacks. Other symptoms may appear and they might worsen each other. Obviously, overworking yourself in combination with sleep deprivation is bound to break your mind at one point. Perhaps you become depressed or other illnesses surface. Your mental health will suffer.
Your body starts malfunctioning
The body is very much akin to a machine. It needs certain things to function properly and when these needs aren’t met, it starts malfunctioning. It might seem alright for a while before doing so. However, when dealing with sleep deprivation, you might start to notice the following: light-headedness, body weakness, nausea, migraines or headaches, existing conditions worsening. Obviously, this is speaking broadly, but you might develop other issues as well.