You may think that insomnia patients only suffer at night, but the truth is, a lack of sleep can affect many aspects of daily life and health as well. Sleep is vital to the body’s rejuvenation and healing processes, so if you suffer from insomnia, you may find yourself suffering at work, school and home, too. Let’s take a look at some of the surprising effects of insomnia on your body and mind.
1. Makes it harder to remember and focus.
Sleep plays a large role in your cognitive processes, so a lack of sleep can inhibit your focus, concentration, problem solving and reasoning. Also, during the night, sleep helps our mind solidify our memories in our brain. A lack of sleep can keep you from remembering things from day to day.
2. Can lead to a variety of serious health problems.
If you suffer from a chronic lack of sleep, you may also be at risk for other health issues such as heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke or diabetes.
3. Affects your mood.
You may feel a little moody after one night without sleep, but a prolonged lack of sleep can lead to more serious issues such as anxiety and depression. In a 2007 study of 10,000 people, patients with insomnia were five times as likely to be diagnosed with depression as those without. Insomnia and depression create an endless cycle that can be difficult to break without treatment.
4. Ages your skin.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more cortisol, a stress hormone that can break down the collagen in your skin, producing more fine lines and wrinkles and causing your skin to become dull.
5. Impairs judgment.
Lack of sleep can impair your ability to interpret situations. Even if you think your body has adjusted to sleepless nights, you are probably wrong. If you work a job that requires you to make quick and accurate decisions, this can be especially detrimental.