How many hours should I sleep? Is it okay to pull an all nighter?
Those of us who live busy lives know that we sometimes sacrifice sleep. That can mean getting less than the 7-9 recommended hours per night, or sometimes skipping sleep altogether and pulling an all-nighter. We come up with many reasons for skipping sleep: maybe we have a test to study for, there’s work to be done, or maybe you just want to stay up all night playing video games. Regardless of the reasons, skipping sleep can have unwanted side effects, and it’s always better to give you mind and body that much needed night-time rest.
Skipping sleep can affect your overall mental health, and there are various psychological risks that come with long-term sleep deprivation including anxiety and depression. Your mind is recharging during sleep, and so studying all night instead of sleeping can lead to side effects such as trouble with concentration and memorization. If you’re trying to cram information for a big test, not sleeping will actually hurt more than it can help! And if you have projects to complete, the inability to focus and concentrate may lead to poor results.
The day after getting little sleep is usually drowsy and coffee-fueled. This drowsiness can cause accidents as innocuous as spilling your coffee or as deadly as being involved in a car crash.
Lack of sleep can also have long-term effects on your body. A major one is weight gain. Without sleep, your body’s chemicals are off-balance and your brain doesn’t know when you are full. This results in overeating and can set back your health and fitness goals. Those who don’t get enough sleep also have higher blood sugar and risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Not sleeping won’t just affect your mental functions, it can have lasting physical effects too.
The next time you consider skipping on sleep, remember that the few hours of extra work you can complete might not be worth the mental and physical effects of not resting your mind and body, and the last thing you want is to hurt yourself or someone else by getting into an accident due to not getting enough sleep.