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If you’re an ambitious, go-getting, proactive, dream-chasing kind of a person, it’s likely that you have at some point in your life — or are currently — falling into the devastatingly bad habit of sacrificing sleep in order to win some extra hours from the day. This is a common tactic of hard-nosed business tycoons and creative artists and entrepreneurs alike, but also of people who don’t really enjoy their day jobs very much at all, and who want a bit of extra time each evening to watch TV, listen to music, surf the web, relax, and just do things that aren’t in any way related to work.
But no matter how much you may need or want those extra few hours in the day, you’d be better off doing without them, or with getting them by cutting out virtually anything else other than sleep. Here are some reasons why a chronic lack of sleep will ruin your life, and why you need to make sleep a top priority.
Lack of sleep could completely change your personality
In the 1950’s, radio host Peter Tripp decided to attempt a record-breaking 201-hour-wakeathon. He was observed by medical professionals who warned him adamantly against the experiment, but he went ahead with it anyway for the benefit of a charity he had selected. What happened to Peter Tripp is a terrifying insight into the tremendous importance of sleep, and the degree to which sleep deprivation can destroy a human mind.
Tripp’s personality radically changed, and he even ended up developing split-personality disorder during the experiment. When the experiment was over and he had slept, he thought he was back to normal. The people who knew him didn’t agree and declared that his personality was forever changed for the worse.
Get enough sleep, or you can become a completely different person.
Lack of sleep can devastate your health
Recent research has found evidence that lack of sleep can cause systematic, multi-organ damage, chronic inflammation, and can lead to any number of diseases and conditions developing in the body. This isn’t too surprising considering that prolonged sleep deprivation is fatal, and that the body appears to do much of its repair and brain-management during sleep.
If you’re cutting hours out of your nightly sleep cycle to work, you’re not just sacrificing luxury time. You’re sacrificing your health and lifespan. Needless to say, not even the best personal injury lawyer can help you when you inflict the damage on yourself with a lack of sleep.
Lack of sleep can make you worse at everything
When people are sleep-deprived, their mental performance drops dramatically; they are less perceptive and less adept at reading social cues, and worse at regulating their emotions.
It’s a darkly ironic twist, considering that many people skip sleep in order to be more productive during the day; but the evidence suggests that not getting enough sleep makes you less efficient and robs the hours you’ve freed up of their vitality.
It would seem reasonable to conclude that you’d be far better off having fewer hours in your day at work and performing at your peak during those hours, than having more hours, during which you’re an under-performing, error-prone wreck.