According to latest research, regularly getting less than 8 hours sleep a night, can have the same long term effects as alcohol abuse. For the body, sleep deprivation results in increased risk of obesity, heart attacks and strokes. Insomnia is now called the modern ill, as so many of the poulation are affected. Apparently being awake fro more than 18 hours results in the same cognitive impairment as being drunk. It’s so serious that driving when sleep deprived can be as dangerous as driving when drunk.
Researchers have found that people who get less than 6 hours of sleep a night can suffer many health issues. The odd night here and there isn’t a problem, but continual lack of sleep is.
Sleep plays an important role in regulating the hormones that influence hunger. Sleep deprivation can lead to an increase in appetite and result in weight gain.
Your brain becomes less stable the longer you remain awake, it becomes more difficult to focus on specific tasks.
Quite scarily, another piece of research has found that the brain can actually eat itself! While we’re asleep, little cells like hoovers move around the brain, cleaning it and keeping it healthy. When we’re sleep deprived these little cells don’t work properly and become confused themselves and over clean, resulting in parts of the brain literally being eaten! I have to add that this has only been researched on mice so far, but it still seems a bit worrying.