When you don’t get enough sleep you can feel pretty tired the next day. But if you don’t get sleep for several nights? You can feel down right awful.
The sleep deprivation I experienced after having each of my babies is the stuff of nightmares. In hindsight I can very clearly see how badly it effected me and how much better my mental health would have been had I gotten some much needed sleep.
New babies are certainly not the only thing that prevents us from getting enough rest at night. If it’s something you are struggling with, here is what is really happening inside your body.
What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?
You’ll Get Hungry Easier
Sleep deprivation messes with your leptin and grehlin hormones, the two that help control hunger and fullness. It also can cause your body release less insulin after you eat. All of these things combine could contribute to weight gain. (source)
You’ll Be Moody
This is obvious, right? Not sleeping can make you grumpy yes, but also over time can make affect your ability to handle stress which can really effect every aspect of your life.
You’ll Have A Lower Sex Drive
Lack of sleep can lower testosterone levels in males which studies say reduced libido, low energy and poor concentration. Studies in women show the more sleep they get the more interested in sex they will be and vice versa. Just an hour more of sleep led to an 14% increase in their odds of having sex.
You May Get Sick Easier
Rest is important for the body and not getting it can cause your immune system to be weakened making you more susceptible to colds and viruses. It also effects how fast you can recover if do get sick. (source)
You Might Get More Wrinkles
There is a hormone called somatotropin that is produced while you sleep and when you don’t have enough of it, you can see fine lines quicker. You can read all the nitty gritty details (it’s fascinating!) here, but the overall point is this: not sleeping messes with your skin.
You Are More Likely To Have A Car Accident
Driving while drowsy causes an average of 100,000 crashes a year according to the National Safety Council. You aren’t as alert, your reaction time is slower and of course, you could fall asleep at the wheel if you’re too tired.
We need to make sleep a priority if we are really struggling. (I’m especially looking at you, new moms and dads.) It’s important and you will feel so much better.
Here are some resources if you need help getting to sleep:
Liz is a just a mom trying to keep it real about how little she sleeps, how often she gets puked on and how much she loves them. You can find her here every day writing about real-mom moments.