Health and Medicinehealth

Here's What Happens To Your Brain And Body If You Don't Sleep


Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

clockDec 16 2015, 17:36 UTC
186 Here's What Happens To Your Brain And Body If You Don't Sleep
Jef Safi/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

You’ll be pleased to hear that science has got your back if you want an excuse to get more sleep. There are many health effects linked to a lack of sleep, both physical and psychological.


Usually people are advised to get around seven to eight hours sleep a night (although that claim has been brought into question). Yet, according to a recent survey, over 40 percent of U.S. citizens are getting fewer than seven hours of sleep.

It seems to be a symptom of the ever-accelerating pace of modern life – in 1942, just 3 percent of people in the U.S. got five hours or less sleep; in 2013, that figure was 14 percent. Seventy years ago, Americans slept an average of 7.9 hours a night, nowadays it’s around 6.8 hours. That said, we can't blame long working hours and smartphones entirely, as a recent study suggested that our ancestors probably actually got less sleep than we do. 

Regardless, what are the impacts on our bodies of sleep deprivation? Check out this infographic from Business Insider, showing eight of the negative effects a prolonged lack of sleep can have on your weary mind and body.


Image credit: Business Insider

Main image credit: Jef Safi/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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