Everyone knows what it feels like to be tired. We live in a world that seems to run on caffeine and stress. There never seems to be enough time for all the activities and responsibilities of modern life. Unfortunately, sleep is becoming one of the victims of this lifestyle. In a society that puts so much value on activity and accomplishment, sleep can just seem like a waste of time.
Sleep may seem like a waste of time to some, but the optimum amount of sleep is crucial to the healthy function of body and brain. Lack of sleep poses a real danger. Here are seven ways lack of sleep can lead to serious injury:
First Way: Car Crashes
The incidence of car crashes that result in serious injuries, caused by sleep deficit, is said to be in the range of 1 in 5. Yes, you read that correctly. In 1 of every 5 car crashes, where serious injury occurred, driver fatigue contributed to the crash. It has been estimated that approximately 80,000 to 100,000 drivers fall asleep at the wheel in the US daily!
Second Way: Hernia, Muscle Fascia Tears And Cramps
Lack of sleep has been shown to cause injuries that are normally caused by over exercising. Having a severe muscle cramp can be the start of a serious on the job injury. Sleep deficiency also interferes with the body’s ability to heal.
Third Way: Heart attack, Stroke and Heart Failure
Sleep deprivation can cause or worsen strokes, heart failure and heart attack! It has also been implicated in the development and worsening of high blood pressure and diabetes.
Forth Way: Microsleep
People who chronically under sleep experience microsleep. Similar to a black out, microsleep can last for thirty seconds or just a second or two. During that time the subject is not aware of it happening. They may have no idea that anything is happening at all. There is no way to predict if or when microsleep will happen. The number of serious injuries that can happen during these little blackouts is limitless.
Fifth Way: Impaired Ability To Function
Going without sleep can have the same effect as drinking alcohol on physical, as well as reasoning abilities. Sleeplessness interferes with judgment, attention span and memory. The ramifications here are for serious injury. Have you ever heard of these accidents, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the nuclear incidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl? They are all said to have been caused by sleep deprived worker errors.
Sixth Way: Death
The danger of death due to cardiovascular disease is doubled by sleep deficiency.
Seventh Way: Complacency
While not acknowledging that the human body needs sleep, many people are setting themselves up for great danger. Some people even believe that the human body can be trained to function on less sleep. This is just not true.
While everyone has experiences being overtired at times, don’t make it a habit. Sleeping the recommended 7 to 9 hours a night is not a sign of weakness. Some people will brag about how little sleep they get. It is a badge of a modern day warrior. This is a warrior who is his own worst enemy. Don’t fall for this fallacy. Sleep is literally crucial to survival.
Jessica Gomez has worked as a nurse for the past 7 years.
Information on lack of sleep from WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/10-results-sleep-loss?page=2
Information on driving dangerous from Serious Accidents: http://www.seriousaccidents.com/