With this volatile economic climate we are a part of today, more and more people are finding second or third jobs to secure their families’ finances. Many young adults are moving back in with their parents to save on rent, while many are foregoing investing in houses and purchasing new vehicles to avoid hefty mortgages. Unfortunately for breadwinners, this thriftiness and the need to earn more to keep the family afloat mean they would have to forego precious hours of sleep to function properly on their second or third jobs.
Unfortunately, choosing to lose sleep over the possibility of earning more money is not a sound decision on its own. See, sleeping is crucial for your body as this rest period enables it to heal itself. Without this downtime, your body would be consistently working, to the point of exhaustion.
Here are some of the more common consequences of sleep deprivation:
- Puts you at physical risk – Many accidents at work or on the road are caused by sleepiness. When you are tired and fatigued, your reflexes are compromised, which means you would be unable to react appropriately, quickly. This can be dangerous particularly if you are in a hurry to get home from work. As you combat sleepiness and urge yourself to stay awake for just five more minutes, you might be in the incoming traffic, unable to stay on the right lane.
- Affects your memory –Your brain creates new pathways during sleep so you feel refreshed and ready to take on the world when you wake up. These proteins repair cell damage, as well as keep you in optimum shape. When you are sleep deprived however, your brain is also deprived of rest. This means you would be unable to concentrate on the task at hand, and you would also be unable to process new information or learn them as quick. What’s more, sleep deprivation can also affect your short-term and long-term memory, as well as affect your overall cognitive function, including your decision-making and creativity.
- Makes you grumpy – This doesn’t really do much to you as a person, but having a short temper and mood swings because of sleep deprivation can negatively impact the people around you. For example, if you are in a board meeting and you lack sleep, you might find yourself snapping at your colleagues incessantly and unnecessarily. This in turn can hurt your personal and professional relationships.
- Weakens your body – As mentioned above, your body repairs itself during sleep. This means that not sleeping enough puts you at risk of having a weakened immune system. When your immune system is weak, your body wouldn’t be able to protect itself from harmful bacteria, and you might get sick. Likewise, having unhealthy sleeping habits over a prolonged period of time puts you at risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, among other chronic illnesses.
These are just some of the side effects of choosing to forego sleep in order to do more during the hours that you are awake. Remember, the consequences of doing so far outweigh the positives that your hard work might bring to the table. So if you find yourself fending off a nap or two, don’t fight it: slow down and rest! Your body would thank you for it.