Scientists have been circling around one answer that’s very concerning: that there are real, and negative, health consequences of being a later chronotype (going to sleep well after midnight and rising later).
It’s also no secret sleep is good for our bodies. The benefits of going to bed on time range from helping you get to sleep quicker to boosting your metabolism. One study even showed that sleeping more can add years to your life
Sleeping late can have a disastrous effect on your health. But it’s never too late to make a change if you are a late sleeper.
Here are the details of what happens to your body when you don’t log enough hours under the covers.
1. Can make you sick
Sleep is healing, as anyone who’s been able to sleep off a cold will tell you.
Losing sleep can impair your body’s ability to fight off illness. This makes it easier to get sick.
Researchers even uncovered a reciprocal relationship between sleep and your immune system. You may lose additional sleep while your body fights off a bug if you get sick and haven’t had enough shut-eye.
2. You forget stuff
Trying to keep your memory sharp? Try getting plenty of sleep.
Not only can missed sleep make you more forgetful, there’s also a growing body of research indicating that sleep has an impact on learning and memory.
3. Lack of Sleep Ages Your Skin
Most people have experienced sallow skin and puffy eyes after a few nights of missed sleep.
Those with too little sleep tend to have more fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin color, and marked looseness of the skin.
The poor sleepers were also more dissatisfied with their appearance than their well-rested counterparts.
4. You’re accident prone
You’re three times more likely to be involved in a car accident if you get 6 or fewer hours of sleep each night, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Drowsiness can slow reaction time as much as driving drunk.
5. You can’t think
Even missing one night of sleep can lead to some major cognition (thinking) issues.
Sleep plays a critical role in thinking and learning. Lack of sleep hurts these cognitive processes in many ways. First, it impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem solving. This makes it more difficult to learn efficiently.
6. Can effect heart health
Both short sleep durations (less than 5 hours per night) and long sleep durations (9 or more hours per night) have been shown to have a negative impact on heart health.
In fact, researchers found that for every hour your sleep schedule shifts, you increase your risk of heart disease by 11 percent.
7. Can cause depression
In a recent study, presented earlier this year, researchers found that people who consider themselves night owls were also more likely to report experiences symptoms of depression.
The most common sleep disorder, insomnia, has the strongest link to depression. In fact, insomnia is often one of the first symptoms of depression.
8. Can Make You Gain Weight
Lack of sleep can cause you to pack on pounds. Lack of sleep seems to be related to an increase in hunger and appetite, and possibly to obesity. According to a 2004 study, people who sleep less than six hours a day were almost 30 percent more likely to become obese than those who slept seven to nine hours.
9. Your libido diminishes
Not getting enough sleep could reduce your sex drive. Sleep specialists say that sleep-deprived men and women report lower libidos and less interest in sex. Depleted energy, sleepiness, and increased tension may be largely to blame. For men with sleep apnea, a respiratory problem that interrupts sleep, there may be another factor in the sexual slump.
Sleeping 5 or fewer hours reduced sex hormone levels by as much as 10 to 15 percent.
The men also reported that their overall mood and vigor declined with each consecutive night of interrupted rest.