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The Effects of the Lack of Sleep
With tight schedules and deadlines at school or work, an insatiable addiction to social media, watching sports and TV shows among other things, as a writer, you must have heard someone, or perhaps someone must have heard you say at some point, “I can do just fine with a little sleep.” Most people go for days and even weeks with just a few hours of sleep. Well, I’ve got news for you, while this may sound and feel normal, it’s not. The average time of sleep varies between the various stages of human development; infants will need around 12-15 hours, teenagers will need around 8-10 hours, adults will need 7-9 hours and older adults will need 7-8 hours of sleep. As a writer, you spend the whole day immersed in activities that drain your energy; sleep helps the body refresh and repair itself. Having little or no sleep exposes you to much more jeopardy than you could ever think of. Brace yourself as I take you through a bumpy ride of unraveling the effects of little or no sleep and just why you need enough sleep.
Lack of sleep affects your cognitive abilities
As a writer, do you struggle to concentrate on your work? Do you find it hard remembering things, even when you just learned or read about them yesterday? Are you having enough sleep? Did I hear a “no”? During sleep, your brain processes and connects all the activities and events you’ve had during the daytime. This is a process called memory consolidation and it helps improve your memory retention abilities. Sleep also improves your ability to solve problems and concentrate or focus. On the contrary, having less sleep adversely works against all these important abilities. Having enough sleep will help you put your thoughts in order and have a clear mind, this will greatly increase your productivity as a writer or content producer.
Lack of sleep affects your mood
Having less or no sleep greatly reduces dopamine levels in the body. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter made in the brain and is associated with pleasure and reward. Low levels of dopamine cause less motivation and enthusiasm among other things. This results in you being in a bad mood. Lack of sleep also causes irritability and anger. As a writer, having enough sleep can increase dopamine levels and therefore improve your mood.
Lack of sleep causes obesity or general gain in weight
Lack of sleep alters the production of the hormones ghrelin and leptin (which regulate appetite) in a way that increases one’s appetite for food. Therefore you consume a lot of food and consequently gain weight, which may also result in obesity. This is especially because sleep-deprived people experience fatigue during the daytime, feel sleepy, and therefore do not have the urge to participate in any exercise. You probably would not want such conditions to stand in your way of writing and content creation, so why not get enough sleep?
Lack of sleep causes diseases and medical conditions
Your body releases protective proteins during sleep which help in repairing the body and fighting infectious diseases. Without enough sleep, your body does not produce enough of these proteins and this increases one’s chances of getting diseases like type 2 diabetes, cardiac diseases, high blood pressure, stroke, inflammation, and other medical conditions. With all these, a writer who does not get enough sleep is greatly exposed to early death. You should give your body enough time to rest and get enough sleep because it’s all for your own good.
Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Keith Mbuya