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A doctor reveals the repercussions of sleeping for less than 6 hours every day

Published on:9 November 2021, 09:00am IST
If you’ve started looking double your age, you can very well blame it on your sleep. Yes, sleeping for less than six hours every day can do a LOT of harm.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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drinks for insomnia
Don’t underestimate the power of sleep. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Nothing feels right if you haven’t had a good night’s sleep. That’s why you might have heard your friends say that they can sleep at any point! So, what’s the reason behind this? Well, they ignore their sleep and stay up until the wee hours of the night. That’s when their health starts to deteriorate.

If you think that only a few hours of sleep works, you’re in for a shock. Because it turns out that if you sleep for less than 6 hours, you can face multiple repercussions.  Want to know what? Read on!

Here are 7 SHOCKING things that CAN happen when someone sleeps for less than 6 hours

According to Dr Pritam Moon, consultant physician, Wockhardt Hospital Mira Road, Mumbai, most of us take our sleep for granted. No wonder, we are struggling with various health issues today. Oh, and the younger lot is at the centre of it all!

You could face these issues if you do not get enough sleep:

1. Cardiovascular problems

Lack of sleep can take a toll on your heart, thereby causing cardiovascular issues like irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart attack, and heart failure.

sleep for less than 6 hours
Nutrition and sleep are they linked? Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Depression

“Those who fail to get a good night’s sleep may become anxious and depressed,” explains Dr Moon.

3. Declined cognitive health

Dr Moon reveals that you may also become forgetful, since your attention span may reduce. It could also happen that you won’t be able to solve problems effectively. This is the reason most of us feel fatigued.

4. Skin problems

Is the health of your skin getting worse by the day? Try and review your sleep pattern. Not getting enough sleep can give you dark circles, fine lines, and dull skin.

5. Weight gain

If you sleep regularly for eight hours, your body can seamlessly maintain a regular appetite and hunger schedule. Not sleeping properly will increase your production of the hormone ghrelin, which is known to stimulate hunger. Moreover, it also decreases your production of leptin, which in turn, suppresses appetite.

6. Loss of sex drive

Lack of sleep leads to tension in the body, which then causes a decrease in your sex drive.

7. Poor judgment

You will not be able to make decisions efficiently, owing to the lack of sleep.

sleep for less than 6 hours
Sleep is associated with several actions. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
But why do some people sleep less?  
  • Sleep problems like insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless legs syndrome can really disturb one’s sleep. 
  • Aging can cause a majority of people above 65 years of age to struggle with sleep, due to various health issues. 
  • It could also be a consequence of other illnesses. Sleep deprivation is commonly seen in people, owing to depression, chronic pain syndrome, cancer, stroke, or Alzheimer’s disease.  
  • Stress is another cause of sleep deprivation that can give you a tough time.

“It is also common in the case of new moms. That’s because a changed schedule due to a new baby can disturb the sleep of the mother,” says Dr Moon.

Also, read: Did you know your nutrition intake can dictate the quality of your sleep?

Unable to sleep? Here are some tips that will help you sleep better 
  •  Maintain a proper sleep routine
    You need to go to sleep at the same time every night, and get up at the same time each morning. Follow the same timings, even during weekends.
  • Do not take naps in the afternoon

    Avoid sleeping in the afternoon, so that you can sleep peacefully at night.

  •  No caffeine
    Also known as the sleep stealer, caffeine must be avoided at all costs at night.
  •  Avoid alcohol and smoking
    These two culprits can rob your sleep.
  • Stay physically active
    You need to exercise daily to stay in shape, and get proper sleep.
  • Comfortable bedroom atmosphere
    Make your bedroom dark, quiet, and not too warm or cold to enjoy a good night’s sleep. Use a firm mattress and pillow that supports your back.
  • Follow a sleep ritual
    You can read, listen to music or take a warm shower to calm your body and mind, and retire for the day.
  • Limit your exposure to electronic devices
    Do not use your phone or watch TV just before sleeping.
  • Don’t drink water
    Avoid water or any other liquids, when you are about to sleep.

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“If you find it difficult to concentrate on your work, experience frequent feelings of frustration, anger, depression, anxiety, or stress, or have high blood pressure problems, consult a doctor without any delay,” concludes Dr Moon.

It’s time for some TLC, ladies!

Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.