We all know the virtue of getting eight hours sleep a night, but that new Netflix box set isn’t going to watch itself.
So inevitably we end up going to bed a little later than planned and vowing to rectify it with caffeine in the morning. But do you know exactly what the consequences of your sleep deprivation are?
To do you (and your body) a favour we have looked at a range of sleep studies to show you exactly what you’re doing by not getting your head on that pillow.
1. You are not forming memories properly.
That foggy head feeling that you only get from a hangover or burning the candle at both ends? Yeah, you aren’t just imagining it.
A study confirmed that sleeping on an idea actually brings clarity to it as going to bed is when your brain is able to consolidate thoughts – a key part of the human learning process. And sleep deprivation, insomnia and taking sleeping pills are all putting us “in danger” of losing memories. Oh dear.
2. You are more susceptible to coughs and colds.
We know this is the sort of thing your grandma would tell you as she handed you another satsuma, but turns out she was right all along.
By not sleeping, we are suppressing the effectiveness of our immune system according to Senior Physiologist at Nuffield Health, Jade Wells: “Disease-fighting substances are released or created while we sleep, so sleep deprivation can decrease the availability of these substances. This can leave us more susceptible to new viruses and bacteria.”
3. You aren’t performing at your best mentally or creatively.
This one does make us feel a little better (we aren’t just stupid), as experts say it doesn’t take much sleep deprivation to significantly lessen your brain power, ability to make decisions, judgements and evaluate outcomes.
John Groeger, Professor of Psychology at the University of Hull told HuffPost UK: “In lab settings you could detect the difference between an individual who had slept well and an individual who has had just two hours less sleep than they would normally have.”
4. You won’t be focused on work.
Not only will you not be able to make decisions with clarity, you will also struggle to focus on tasks throughout the day, and give them your full attention.
Professor Kevin Morgan, director of Loughborough University’s Clinical Sleep Research Unit, explained: “Even an hour’s less sleep each night can cause problems the next day, impacting on a person’s cognitive performance and ability to remain alert and focused on tasks.”
5. You aren’t sexually at your peak.
Ok, now you do have our attention. According to a new study, sleep disturbance and sleep problems can interfere with a woman’s level of sexual satisfaction, which if you ask us, explains an awful lot.
6. You are more likely to argue with your partner.
Regardless of all the ways sleep deprivation is damaging you personally, it seems we don’t just pay the price ourselves.
In fact, 22% of families with children admitted, in a survey by Netmums and The Children’s Sleep Charity, that their relationship with their partner is negatively affected by their tiredness and leads to more arguments.
So put your phone down and go to bed.