NEW YORK (Dispatches) -- Scientists say that sleeping fewer than six hours for eight consecutive nights can cause your mental and physical well-being to greatly deteriorate.
Lead author Soomi Lee, assistant professor in the School of Aging Studies at the University of South Florida, found the biggest jump in symptoms appeared after just one night of sleep loss. The number of mental and physical problems steadily got worse, peaking on day three. At that point, research shows the human body got relatively used to repeated sleep loss. But that all changed on day six, when participants reported that the severity of physical symptoms was at its worst.
Lee says that eventhough many of us think that we can pay our sleep debt on weekends and be more productive on weekdays, results from this study show that having just one night of sleep loss can significantly impair your daily functioning.
Participants reported a pile-up of angry, nervous, lonely, irritable and frustrated feelings as a result of sleep loss. They also experienced more physical symptoms, such as upper respiratory issues, aches, gastrointestinal problems and other health concerns. These negative feelings and symptoms were continuously elevated throughout consecutive sleep loss days and didn’t return to baseline levels unless they had a night sleep of more than six hours.