The Effects of Sleep Deprivation: 8 Things That Happen to Your Body After 24 Hours of Not Sleeping

As we know from countless articles, studies and various other well informed somnambulant sources – the average adult needs between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, for a healthy nocturnal lifestyle.

But how often can we say that we really go out of our way to meet that demand, and, worse still, how often do we miss a night’s sleep altogether?

After all, it is just one night. And surely, one all-nighter can’t be so bad.

Well, turns out the effects of sleep deprivation start influencing your body pretty quickly, like within 24 hours of not sleeping.

Here are 8 things that happen to you when you haven’t slept for just one whole day.

You’re more prone to irritability

Let’s start off with an easy one first – everybody knows how cranky that particular colleague or spouse can be when they have a poor night’s sleep, but there’s actually quite a serious issue lying behind that snappy attitude in the morning.

Without the necessary downtime for the brain to relax and begin its night time cycles, the mind is put under more stress and hormone regulation can be drastically skewed, meaning a lot more emotion and a lot less rationality when somebody uses your mug in the office kitchen.

It’s harder to control your food urges

There are a few reasons for you to feel much hungrier or to see your diet drastically change after missing a whole night’s sleep; the most drastic is down to those pesky hormones again, namely one called leptin (which promotes a feeling of fullness) – this guy’ll show up late for work if you haven’t let your head hit the pillow, meaning you might be more prone to snacking during the night or the next day.

Another hormone, ghrelin, actually messes with your hunger and cravings when you’ve been slacking on sleep. And a slightly less scientific and more noticeable reason might just be that when we’re tired, or feel poorly, we seek comfort food.

Your body’s defenses are lowered

Speaking of feeling poorly; sleep is massively important for our body’s health in a whole plethora of ways, one of which is making sure that our immune system is fighting fit and has had the time to do its thing whilst the rest of the body is resting.

Without that all important seven to nine hours, the effectiveness of your immune system can nosedive and leave you more susceptible to catching something.

Your umm… thingy won’t be as sharp… What’s it called…?

Memory! That’s it.

It might not be disastrous in the long run after only one night of missed sleep (but please note, lots of consistent missed sleep can have serious, long lasting effects on memory), but even just one missed sleep can completely ruin your ability to keep track of small, recent events or details.

Ever had a long, horrible day of work where nothing seems to click, after a sleepless night? There you have it.

You might feel like you’ve had a few drinks

An interesting one, that’s often overlooked (especially when we consider the fact that we still drive and operate machinery after nights of insomnia), is that the average person running on 24 hours without sleep has a blood-alcohol count of around 0.10 percent.

It’s likely that this is why you may feel like your dexterity and motor skills are lacking after pulling an all-nighter.

Much higher stress levels

Because you’re lacking the restfulness of a long night’s sleep, and the natural hormonal balance and repairs that come with it; it’s much more likely that you’re going to experience higher levels of stress and anxiety around the 24 hour mark, which can contribute to a whole host of their own problems.

Not to mention that it’ll further curb your ability to get to sleep in the first place.

A lack of sleep can put more pressure on your heart

Again, this symptom is likely not one to be too worried about after only 24 hours of missed sleep, unless you already suffer from some underlying heart issues.

However, there is ample proof to show that cardiovascular health and a consistent, strong sleep schedule are linked together – with those who frequently manage the seven to nine hours having drastically less issues over those who regularly miss out on sleep.

Additionally, without that gap for your body to rest and enter into its recuperating mode, your whole cardiovascular system has basically been working non-stop at full power for 24 hours, without anything akin to a ‘break’.

Your looks tend to suffer

The symptoms aren’t all hidden or psychological, however. It’s often very easy to tell a healthy sleeper apart from someone who’s abstained from a night in the sheets – dark bags under the eyes, greasy, pallid skin, bloodshot eyes, an unfocused sort of atmosphere.

All of these symptoms are outwardly noticeable to those around you, and may actually affect the way in which others communicate with you depending on the situation.

Not to mention, there’s nothing worse for your mood than feeling groggy and messy.

Naturally, most of these effects of sleep deprivation are quite easily rectified by returning to a balanced sleep schedule.

If your all-nighter was a one off, you probably don’t have much to worry about; but this list is seeking to show you just how much can begin to malfunction so quickly – after only one night’s missed sleep.

Think how bad it could get if you kept it up or it becomes habit…let’s not go down that road.

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