Sleep deprivation can kill you - here's what sleeping less than 7 hours per night does to your body and brain
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About a third of US adults don't get enough sleep.
Unfortunately, sleep deprivation has serious consequences for your brain and body.
Many people think they can get by on less than seven to nine hours per night - the amount of sleep doctors recommend for most adults - or say they need to sleep less because of work or family obligations.
That prompted Ariana Huffington to post an open letter to Musk about his sleep schedule, telling him that he was "demonstrating a wildly outdated, anti-scientific and horribly inefficient way of using human energy."
Musk posted his response on Twitter at 2:30 a.m.: "I just got home from the factory. You think this is an option. It is not."
Musk seems to understand that working 120-hour weeks is harmful. As sleep expert and neuroscientist Matthew Walker previously told Business Insider, "the shorter your sleep, the shorter your life."
The vast majority of adults need seven to nine hours of nightly sleep, and kids have to get even more, though needs do vary from person to person. Some incredibly rare people can actually get by on a few hours of sleep per night, while others on the opposite end of the spectrum are sometimes called "long sleepers" because they need 11 hours nightly.
But regardless of your body's clock, a lack of sleep will cause your physical and mental health to suffer.
Here are 30 health consequences of sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation is linked to higher risk for certain cancers.
Skin doesn't heal as well from damage when you are tired, leading to skin aging.
Tired people have a harder time controlling their impulses, which leads to unhealthy behavior and weight gain.
People feel more lonely after sleepless nights — and being lonely makes it harder to sleep well.
Being sleepy makes it harder to learn and disrupts short-term memory.
Long-term sleep deprivation also seems to damage long-term memory.
A growing body of evidence links bad sleep with signs of Alzheimer's in the brain.
Heart disease risk rises with sleep deprivation.
Sleepiness leads to irritability.
The longer people go without sleep, the harder it is for them to see clearly. People sometimes experience hallucinations when sleep deprived.
Sleep-deprived people have slower reactions.
So it's no surprise that sleepiness makes people clumsier.
The immune system doesn't work as well when you're tired.
Similarly, over-tired people are more susceptible to colds.
Being tired drains your sex drive and makes it harder to perform.
Sleepy people express more unhappiness and signs of depression.
Risk of Type 2 diabetes rises when people are over-tired, even for non-overweight people.
Tiredness is associated with bad decision-making that puts lives and finances in danger.
Sleepy people are more easily distracted.
Tiredness makes it hard to speak normally.
Driving tired leads to more car accidents, like driving drunk.
Tiredness is connected to urine overproduction.
You need sleep for muscles to get stronger. Without it, muscle atrophy occurs.
Sleepiness makes pain harder to cope with.
Tiredness leads to gastrointestinal issues.
Sleepiness is associated with headaches.
Disrupted sleep cycles lead to more inflammation, which could worsen asthma, arthritis, and cardiovascular disease.
If snoring or sleep apnea is causing sleep disruption, that could lead to serious health problems.
Poor sleep disrupts genetic activity, which may explain some of the health risks of getting too little rest.
At any given time, people who haven't gotten the right amount of sleep are more likely to die.
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