Lack of sleep manifests itself in various stages. On the onset, you may notice increased levels of energy, especially if you work out on the regular. This feeling makes you think that you can manage even on a sleep deficit. Over time, usually after about a week of continued sleep debt, the brain’s cognitive function will be affected. Speech becomes slurred, and simple thoughts take longer to be processed.
Effects of lack of sleep on cognitive function
The region of the brain that supports faculties such as working memory, logical and practical reasoning is highly tasked in sleep-deprived individuals. A study conducted shows that the brain seems to work harder when sleep deprived than when one is well-rested.
During this extensive study, it was noted that the temporal lobe (region involved in verbal speech) is activated in well-rested individuals, but this is not the case for those who haven’t slept well in a while. This means that the latter group will find it harder to learn a new language or verbalize their thoughts.
The activity in the thalamus, (alertness and attention center), is affected and one becomes slow and less productive all day. Lack of sharpness causes mood swings, and generally, every day feels like a Monday morning. You will notice irritability and even depression in severe cases.
Lack of sleep hinders healing
Tests conducted on a group of rats that was denied the chance to reach the dream cycle of sleep shows that they healed much slower than a group that was allowed to sleep until they were rested. Case in point; have you had a common cold that will not go away? Try sleeping for 8 hours tonight and see the results in the morning. Several functions when we sleep.
Other things include low levels of leptin, the hormone that controls appetite, and so you may find yourself having uncontrolled cravings for all the unhealthy food. This eating eventually leads to obesity and other weight related health concerns.