This Is What Happens If You Don’t Get Enough Sleep | Whittier, CA | PIH Health

Follow Us

For the latest Health Information and Wellness Tips from PIH Health.

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Instagram

Published on March 15, 2022

This Is What Happens If You Don’t Get Enough Sleep

Photo of a woman holding her head with her eyes closed while sitting on a couchGetting a good night’s sleep is an essential part of your well-being. If you don’t sleep enough, you feel tired and irritable the next day. You may have difficulty concentrating or getting your work done. And you may spend the whole day wishing you were back in bed, snug under the covers with the lights off.

“Inadequate sleep impacts more than just your day. In fact, if you don’t get enough quality sleep on a regular basis, it can lead to physical and mental health issues that go beyond day-long grogginess,” says Mehwish Khan MD, a family medicine physician for PIH Health. “That’s why it’s important for you to make sleep a priority.”

Here are 9 things that may happen to your body when you don’t get enough quality sleep:

  1. You can’t think. A lack of sleep can affect your ability to remember and process information. Decision-making, reasoning and problem-solving skills may also be impacted.
  2. You’re not as alert. Missing out on just 1 ½ hours of sleep can impact how alert you feel. Your reaction time may also be slower.
  3. You increase your risk of serious health issues. A number of chronic health conditions may be affected by not getting enough sleep on a regular basis. These include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure, coronary heart disease and some cancers. You may also be more likely to have a stroke.
  4. You’re at greater risk of injury. You are three times more likely to be involved in a car accident if you sleep 6 hours or less a night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Your risk of other accidents may also increase when you’re tired.
  5. You may gain weight. People who slept less than 5 hours a night during a 3-year study were significantly more likely to gain weight and become obese than people who slept 7 hours a night.
  6. It can affect your mental health. It may come as no surprise that there’s a link between depression and sleep. Over 80% of people treated for depression in the U.S. also experience difficulty sleeping, according to one study.
  7. You may get sick more often. Your immune system weakens when you don’t get enough sleep, making it harder to fight off illnesses.
  8. You may have a lower sex drive. Not sleeping enough may also make you lose your interest in other bedtime activities.
  9. It may affect your appearance. Not only may you be sporting dark circles under your eyes but chronic sleep deprivation may lead to premature wrinkles, uneven skin color and loose skin.

Approximately 1 in 3 American adults don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. How much sleep is enough? Adults aged 18 to 64 need 7-9 hours a day. Older adults (age 65+) need 7-8 hours daily.

Copyright 2022 © Baldwin Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Health eCooking® is a registered trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Cook eKitchen™ is a designated trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein without the express approval of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. is strictly prohibited.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.