SHOCKING images have revealed how a lack of sleep can impact all parts of the body, from dry skin to hallucinations.
Around a third of adults in the UK suffer from insomnia and your risk of the condition increases as you get older, experts say.
There are three key signs someone is suffering from insomnia and it starts with difficulty falling asleep.
It's likely that you'll then have trouble staying asleep, and when you finally get to sleep you will have a poor quality snooze.
Mattress specialists Otty created a CGI representation of what your body might look like if you are sleep deprived and the results progressively get worse, from just 24 hours with poor sleep to one month.
The images highlight the importance of sleep and the damaging impact not getting enough snooze in can have on your body.
After just 24 hours of little-to-no sleep, you will start to feel the effects of sleep deprivation.
Your brain will start to shut down and it will be difficult to function normally on everyday tasks.
Extreme drowsiness and irritability will take hold and stress levels will begin to rise.
You might also become angry or short-tempered at the smallest of matters and on top of this you could fall victim to decreased alertness, making you more prone to dangerous accidents.
Three days of no or little sleep will see you struggle to walk or move without increased effort.
Your memory could be impaired and you might struggle to learn new information and to make decisions.
Sleep and insomnia expert, Hussain Abdeh, Clinical Director and Superintendent Pharmacist at Medicine Direct said a lengthy period of time without sleep can cause a lot of stress to the body.
He explained that complex hallucinations may arise after such a long time without sleeping and that you may see things that are not there or have seriously impaired vision.
"Depersonalisation, where you feel detached from your own body with no control, can also occur.
“You may experience a great deal of pain due to the body aching from tiredness. Muscle contractions may become worse, and your eyes will also ache from not being able to rest properly", he explained.
At this point your body would be in serious trouble, Hussain says.
He explained: "Such a lengthy period of time without sleep can cause a lot of stress to the body. Chronic stress can have an impact on the quality of the collagen your body produces.
“Collagen is vital for keeping your skin stretchy and youthful; when it is broken down, your skin becomes thinner and shows more prominent signs of ageing, causing wrinkles."
While it is not possible to stay alive for a month without sleep, if you spend a month surviving solely on microsleep, this can also be extremely dangerous.
Hussain added that if you go too long without sleep then it could wear your body down to the point where your immune system can't function any more.
He said: "This can put you at an increased risk of various health conditions, including strokes, heart disease, high blood pressure, mental illnesses and type-2 diabetes.
“You are also likely to experience microsleep for longer and more frequent periods. It would not be unusual for you to collapse.”
How to stop insomnia
Around 30 per cent of the country suffer from sleep issues and expert Andrew Jacobs from Otty said this can differ from person to person.
He said the company had created the lifelike images to highlight the importance of sleep and the impact it has on a person's physical and mental health.
"As you can see, within as little as 24 hours the body will start to shut down which can have detrimental effects on our well-being", he said.
But if you're one of the many Brits struggling with insomnia there are things you can do about it.
Experts at Otty have revealed their top tips for a better nights sleep.
1. Be clean
Good sleep hygiene can make a big difference, the Otty experts say.
Having a clean, comfortable bed that supports your body will make it easier for you to relax and wind down each night.
If it is not already part of your daily routine, ensuring you exercise for between 20-30 minutes each day can do wonders for preparing your body for rest.
The experts added: "If possible, try to plan your work-out at least 5-6 hours before bed, as exercising too late into the night can impair sleep quality."
3. Check your lights
Looking at your light exposure could be the key to making sure you get enough sleep.
"Increase your bright light exposure during the day, and reduce it in the evening.
"This means getting out in the sun and being in rooms with bright lighting. This will help regulate your circadian rhythm, which allows your body to know when to switch off and fall asleep", they said.
4. Avoid caffeine
While it might be giving you a needed boost throughout the day, experts say you should avoid coffee, tea and cola drinks in the evenings, as caffeine can stay in the bloodstream for up to 8 hours.
They added: "Instead, drink plenty of water in the evenings to hydrate your body and prevent thirst from waking you up during the night."
5. Try supplements
Certain supplements are beneficial for those struggling to switch off and maintain a good quality of sleep.
The experts recommended supplements such as melatonin, magnesium and glycine.
6. Cut down on the booze
While you might think an extra glass of wine can help you sleep in the short term, it's likely to lead to disturbed sleep in the end.
"Cutting down on your alcohol intake will help your ability to sleep moving forwards.
"Alcohol can affect your melatonin production, making it difficult to fall or stay asleep", the experts said.
7. No naps
As much as a daytime snooze might be tempting after a previous night of tossing and turning, experts say that those suffering from insomnia should avoid the lure of an afternoon nap.
They said: "If the nap lasts too long then it could lead to a vicious cycle of not being able to sleep again the following night."
8. Cut the spice
Hot and spicy foods can aggravate your body and interfere with your sleep cycle.
Spicy foods can also raise your body temperature which can make it difficult to get comfortable.
9. Cool down
Having the right temperature in your room can make a big difference, especially if you're struggling to sleep.
You can regulate the temperature of a room by keeping blinds or curtains closed during hot days to avoid the sun overheating your room.
10. Set an alarm
While you might rely on a loud noise to wake you up, try setting your body clock up right.
To do this you need to stick to a strict bedtime routine when it comes to when you go to bed and when you get up.
The experts added: "Waking up and going to sleep at the same time each day will help your body acclimate, helping it to recognise when it should be active, and when it’s time for rest."
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