How often do you feel sleep-deprived? If you’re like the average American, then you get less than the minimum recommended seven hours of sleep a night. If the average American is doing this, then it probably isn’t too bad for your body, right? Wrong!
According to an article on businessinsider.com, if you sleep six hours a night for 12 days, “your cognitive and physical performance becomes virtually indistinguishable from that of someone who has been awake for 24 hours straight.” What makes that even worse is that the performance of someone who has been up for 24 hours is similar to that of someone with a blood alcohol level of 0.1 percent, showing that the so-called “normal” amounts of sleep make people perform as if they were drunk.
On top of that, there are physical and mental problems caused by lack of sleep. Weight gain, memory problems, inability to perform, depression, increased cancer risk and the buildup of proteins in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s can result from sleep deprivation.
Even with all of these possible side effects, people still choose not to get enough sleep. And this could be because people who are severely sleep deprived don’t even notice a difference in how tired they are.
Think about that next time you’re deciding if you should watch another episode on Netflix or hit the sheets.