Consequences of Poor Sleep

Terry Cralle, Registered Nurse and Certified Clinical Sleep Educator

Sleep is a biological necessity critical to your quality of life. It affects everything from your productivity to your health to your mood. While most of us assume that sleep hours cut into our productive hours, we are actually more productive with sufficient sleep! So while it may seem counterintuitive, your productivity will increase when you get better sleep because you’ll have more energy and think more clearly while working smarter and more efficiently.

Most people can feel the consequences of insufficient sleep. They’re irritable and exhausted. They are easily distracted and often don’t make sound decisions. However, there are more consequences of poor sleep that aren’t always as easy to see.

Sleep deprivation negatively impacts the immune system. Research also suggests that sleep deprivation may lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, bone loss and depression to name a few. According to Eve Van Cauter of the University of Chicago, a “lack of sleep disrupts every physiologic function in the body.”

Sleep deprivation may also impair learning, memory, alertness, concentration, judgment, problem solving and reasoning, as well as increase your risk of accidents. To make matters worse, lack of sleep hinders your ability to realize that your own performance is impaired, making you think you’re functioning well when you probably aren’t. 

We all know sleep is necessary, but it’s up to us as individuals to make sure we get it. In the end, getting better sleep helps you lead a better life.

For more information about Terry Cralle and sleep, visit