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Sleeping Less Than Seven Hours A Night Wrecks Your Body

Sleeping Less Than Seven Hours A Night Wrecks Your Body

Sleep deprivation can have some surprisingly serious consequences on your body

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman

We've all seen Elon Musk's humble brags about how he's too busy to sleep, having claimed that he survives on six hours' rest each night.

This has recently prompted Arianna Huffington - the co-founder of the Huffington Post and author of a book called the Sleep Revolution - to write him an open letter, telling him that he's demonstrating 'a wildly outdated, anti-scientific and horribly inefficient way of using human energy'.

Musk's response? Tweeting at 2.30am to say that he's just got home from his factory, adding: "You think this is an option. It is not."

In fact, it seems to be the general consensus these days, with everyone stressing just how busy, overworked and overtired they all are. It's one of life's most resonating social competitions, where we're all absolutely hell-bent on outdoing each other.

But Business Insider reports that it could also be a dangerous one, too, as sleep deprivation can have serious consequences on your body.


While some of those aren't surprising - being sleep-deprived impacts your short and long-term memory; you have slower reactions; you become clumsier and it leads to irritability, for instance - there are other repercussions that are a little more sinister.

According to Business Insider, various studies have shown that sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of certain cancers like colon and breast cancer, as well as Alzheimer's disease, type 2 diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Similarly, some studies have noted that sleeping helps cleanse the brain of the beta-amyloid protein that can build up when you're awake. That's a protein that's linked to Alzheimer's disease.

It can also apparently worsen existing conditions like asthma, arthritis, Crohn's disease and cardiovascular disease.


Oh, and here's another pretty dark one: sleep deprivation and disturbed sleep are often associated with reduced libido and sexual dysfunction in both women and men. That's because being awake decreases your levels of testosterone - an important element of your sex drive.

What's more, researchers have found that young adults who don't get enough sleep are less likely to connect with other people on a social level, meaning many often feel more lonely as a result. Those people then don't tend to sleep as well, meaning we're left with one big, tired and lonely vicious cycle.

Basically, many of us may like to come across as superhuman people who are too busy working or partying for menial stuff like sleep, but there's no shame in getting a decent night's kip. So rest up, have a nap, enjoy it. Zzzzzzzz.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: elon musk, World News, News, Sleep