Jiang Xiaoshan was like a lot of men in that he loved sports. The 26 year-old man would go out of his way to carve out time to make sure he was on his couch when the big game came on. Living in China, however, meant that many of the popular sports around the world came on at odd times. Jiang's preferred sport of European soccer came on in the middle of the night, but that didn't stop him, especially during the big matches.
One such match was the European Championships, a nearly month-long tournament held every four years pitting national teams against each other. It's a soccer fan's dream, and something Jiang deemed more important than sleep – for eleven straight days.
Jiang Xiaoshan passed away before the end of the Championship. The cause- Sleep Deprivation.
Read this blog long enough and you'll hear a lot about the benefits of sleep. While Jiang's example is a far extreme end of the spectrum, chances are you're suffering some consequences of not getting the proper amount of sleep.
New research shows that a lack of sleep makes itself apparent. “Well, duh,” you may say. The research also adds that your appearance is altering the perspective of those around you.
A study by Swedish researchers in the October issue of the scientific journal Sleep found that sleep deprivation caused redness and swelling in the eyes, circles underneath them, pale skin, and drooping mouth corners. Furthermore, the study found that those suffering from these consequences experienced “social consequences” in everyday life.
In other words, people will be people and whisper behind your back, which sucks, but it can have a very real negative effect on your life. You might miss out on business or romantic opportunities, or your mom will call one day wondering what all the rumors are about. And it's all triggered by a lack of sleep.
This is on top of the non-facial ailments, including mood swings, bad motor skills, diminished memory and more.
In the study, the researchers took photos of people after eight hours of sleep, then photos of the same people after 31 hours without sleep. Both sets of photos were rated by 40 people on a number of metrics, from sadness and fatigue to physical attractiveness.
After just 31 hours, the raters saw the obvious signs of sleep deprivation. In other words, you don't have to go on a sleepless binge like Jiang to suffer. You may be suffering right now.
Are you getting enough sleep, or have you been through sleepless spells? We'd love to hear your sleepless war stories, and what you did to overcome any sleep problems. Let us know in the comments!
The November print issue of Rag Tag Alive is all about the science of a good night's sleep. Rag-Tag Elite™ members will be getting it in the mail any day now.
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