Lose Sleep and You’ll Lose Your Mind and Health

We’ve all heard about the importance of sleep to our health and well-being at one point or another. It seems that I have someone pleading for me to get more sleep more than once on a daily basis. Oprah, Arianna, Mom…I hear you.

But the science behind sleep is a murky world. As much as we’ve come to learn about what happens to our bodies when we sleep, there’s still a lot we don’t know. The popularity of fitness trackers led to a great demand for sleep tracking as well, which some devices reportedly do for you. What do we do with that data though? How much sleep is enough sleep?

The answers vary and although I’m skeptical about the sleep tracking capabilities of fitness devices, the truth is that most of us are interested in understanding how sleep affects us.

In a recent study published in the journal Science, researchers revealed that sleep acts like a mental janitor, cleaning out all the ‘junk’ we accumulate during the day. If we can clean out our computers’ caches by deleting cookies on a regular basis, why can’t we give our brains that same attention?

So it was a bit of a shock to come across this infographic below and see just how destructive lack of sleep can be to your health in both the short and long-term. We like to think that we can “catch up” on sleep when the weekend hits, but the damage has already been done.

Insufficient sleep negatively impacts cardiovascular health, cognition, emotional well-being and encourages some of the most harmful behaviors that pose a major mortality risk. Some are even going so far as to call it a public health epidemic.

Diabetes? Stroke? Obesity? Increased cancer risk? Potential accidents when driving while exhausted? These are just some of the side effects that lack of sleep offers. And this doesn’t take into account how this may affect your relationships, career, and personal happiness.

The majority of significant sleep studies are performed on white adults with a smaller proportion of African-American adults. Various cultural and language barriers are obstacles to a closer analysis of US Latinos’ sleep health, but given the prevalence of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, and hypertension among Latinos, this raises questions about the role of sleep, or lack thereof, in further exacerbating these conditions.

Take a look at the infographic below, shared by Huffington Post, and consider how your exhaustion (because I’ll bet that most of you do not get enough sleep on a regular basis) may impact your life.

courtesy Huffington Post

How much sleep do you get each night?

How does lack of sleep affect your efforts to maintain healthy eating and fitness habits?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to share in the comments section below, or on FB and Twitter.

As always, keep paying it forward. Stay healthy! 🙂

11 Replies to “Lose Sleep and You’ll Lose Your Mind and Health”

  1. I am all about sleep. I try to get at least 7 hours a night but my goal is 8. Sometimes life can get in the way and throw off my sleep for a night or two but I work really hard not to let that happen too much. I find that when I don’t get enough sleep, ever aspect of my life is affected primarily my job. As a fitness professional, my body is my biggest tool for my job. I need it to teach and train every day and if I am not feeling myself due to lack of sleep, how can I expect my clients to give 100%? I love the infographic and have already forwarded onto my coworkers!


    1. Thanks for the forward and for stopping by! It’s incredible the ripple effect of sleep on all aspects of our lives. With each passing year I notice the difference in how my body reacts to lack of sleep and now it’s a priority for me to tear myself away from work to go to bed. I hope your coworkers find the infographic useful!


  2. Great article lady! I usually get around 7-8 hours a night but with littles in the house it’s often interrupted 😦 and I’ve been finding to get more “me” time in just browsing the Internet, reading, etc I’ve been staying up later- a habit I should probably cut back on!


    1. Thanks Annie! I’m still working on breaking that late night internet surfing habit- nearly impossible since I work with social media for work. I’ve gotten more sleep lately so I guess it’s working!


    1. I just came out of a similar schedule and am now working hard to make sleep a priority- it’s NOT easy. Scheduling posts definitely helps, especially if you’re using a lot of social media (like me!). I’m still getting the hang of it and I dream of having one of those blogging schedules a month out. How about you try scheduling one week of posts in advance and see how that works for you?


      1. Will definitely give it a try. I do get swamped with social media too but what’s funny is I don’t always post updates. I just scroll endlessly! Sigh. Will try the scheduling next week. 🙂


  3. I struggle with this. Like many bloggers, my only “me” time happens in the late evenings and it tends to stretch later and later. These days, I usually stay up until 12:30 or 1:00 and I have a job so I’m up by 6:30 or 7:00. The interesting thing is that it works pretty well for me. It seems like I am MORE tired on the nights when I go to bed at ten or eleven and LESS tired on days when I don’t get as much sleep. #SITSSharefest


    1. The same happens to me- it’s so strange. I suppose our bodies have to get used to any adjustments we make, gradually. I may look into this some more… Thanks so much for stopping by via SITSGirls! Hope you had a great weekend!


    1. Sure thing Julie! It’s definitely one of those things we take for granted even though we’ve all been told we should get more sleep. Hope you had a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!


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