Shocking images reveal what getting less than 6 hours sleep does to your body | The Sun

MANY people struggle with their sleep.

It might be that you're a parent and you're exhausted or that your job is all consuming.

While you might think not getting enough snooze is just harming your productivity, shocking images have shown what too little slumber can do to your body.

The NHS states that adults need to have around seven to nine hours sleep each night in order to be well rested.

Sleep expert, Dr Katherine Hall said if you don't get enough rest, then you might end up with sagging, pale skin, and you also might be more susceptible to the common cold.

If you're well rested, Dr Hall said it makes a big difference on your outward appearance, which can soon change even with just 24 hours of being sleep deprived, she said.

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The first thing you'll start to notice, is dark circles around the eyes, Dr Hall said.

You might also have tremors and your eyes might seem puffy.

"Some people experience increased food cravings, anger, and irritability. Drowsiness, fatigue, decreased alertness, and increased risk of making mistakes is also common," she said.

3 days of deprivation

If you've not had enough sleep for up to three days, then your symptoms will start to intensify, the expert said.

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"Some people experience brief periods of sleep known as microsleeps which only last 30 seconds and occur without you realising it.

"Cognitive performance is drastically impaired from decision-making to memory and a slow reaction time.

"More obvious physical symptoms include extreme fatigue, increased inflammation, and a compromised immune system," she said.

4 days of deprivation

This is when extreme sleep deprivation kicks in, Dr Hall said.

"Staying awake becomes increasingly harder.

"Hallucinations are not uncommon and may include seeing, hearing, or feeling things that aren't really there.

"You may also notice increased irritability, fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depersonalisation, or the feeling that you're observing yourself from outside your own body or that your surroundings aren't real," she said.

5 days of deprivation

The urge to sleep and the frequency of microsleeps will increase and intensify after five days of deprivation.

Hallucinations may now include delusions, illusions, and disordered thinking, Dr Hall said.

All of the physical symptoms mentioned previously remain and may worsen, the expert added.

6 days of deprivation

At this stage, your urge to sleep will feel unbearable and your perception of reality will be severely impaired and distorted.

"You may not be able to accurately perceive and process information, resulting in a state of psychosis," Dr Hall said.

Sleep deprivation warning signs

Dr Hall, who is the resident sleep expert at Happy Beds said there are other signs you might be struggling.

Dr Hall added that weight gain is also quite common in people who are struggling with their sleep.

"The NHS advises that “studies have shown that people who sleep less than seven hours a day tend to gain more weight and have a higher risk of becoming obese than those who get seven hours or more," she said.

If the above side effects aren't enough, Dr Hall said you're also more susceptible to a common cold if you're sleep deprived.

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"Our body needs to be well-rested to fight off infection.

"A prolonged lack of sleep can negatively affect the immune system, enabling these sorts of illnesses to creep in more often," she said.

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