The day after spending a night tossing and turning in your bed is often unpleasant. Lacking a good night’s rest does more than make you grumpy. The long-term effects of sleep deprivation show up on your physical health too. Science has linked sleep deprivation with several health issues, such as a weakened immune system and weight gain.
What Causes Sleep Deprivation?
It results when you lack quality sleep for a prolonged period. Sleeping for less than seven hours might lead to detrimental health consequences. Your body heals itself and restores chemical balance while you sleep.
Issues like depression, poor sleep habits, stress, lack of physical activity, and restless leg syndrome can lower your quality of sleep. Consider investing in bed frames for adjustable beds so that you can change your mattress at will. That way, you won’t have to sleep on low-quality beds as they might lead to sleep deprivation.
Lacking sleep might cause the immune system to make fewer T-lymphocytes and antibodies. Therefore, the body becomes susceptible to infections because it has a reduced capacity for fighting illnesses. Insomniacs are at high chances of getting influenza and colds. Research conducted on mice suggested that sleep deprivation leads to faster tumor growth.
Central Nervous System
The CNS is the primary information highway of your body. Sleep is crucial in keeping it functioning optimally. Insomnia might disrupt how your body relays and processes information. Pathways between your brain and your neurons form during your sleep, helping you retain new information. Sleep deprivation makes your brain tired and prevents it from working as it should.
Obesity and Overweight
Sleeping for a short period might result in a bigger waistline. When you don’t get sufficient rest, your body produces more ghrelin, which gives you feelings of hunger. You might also make more leptin than required. When these two hormones that control appetite are produced at high levels, you might end up gaining a lot of weight. Becoming overweight could also affect your sleep because the extra fat around the neck may block your breathing.
Depression and Anxiety
Good quality sleep and sound mental health go hand in hand. Lack of enough rest might affect brain activity. It could also dampen your thinking and mood. Having insomnia increases your odds of getting anxiety and depression more than tenfold. Anxiety and depression might also trigger sleep issues, such as trouble staying or falling asleep.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
Although the relationship between dementia and quality sleep is unclear, several theories explain the effects that show up in your brain. During sleep, your brain gets rid of amyloid proteins, which means that lacking sleep will result in these proteins’ buildup. Eventually, they form clumps known as plaques that affect the functioning of brain cells. It might result in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease
Your body regulates stress hormones while you sleep. If you don’t get sufficient rest, these hormones remain high, resulting in high blood pressure. Sleep deprivation might also cause diabetes and weight gain, which overstrain your heart. However, getting too much sleep is also linked to heart disease. Consider getting seven to eight hours of sleep daily to keep your heart functioning optimally.
Research suggests that your cardiac rhythm affects how the organs work. In one such study, women who got too little rest had a higher chance of getting a rapid decrease in their kidney functioning. Unfortunately, getting enough sleep when you have a kidney condition might be harder. You might experience sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, or insomnia. That is because dialysis affects your cardiac rhythm.
Sleep deprivation makes your body release less insulin, the hormone responsible for controlling blood sugar. It also makes your cells less receptive to insulin. When this goes on for prolonged periods, it might result in type 2 diabetes. The deepest sleep phase plays a crucial role in blood sugar control. That is why conditions that interrupt your sleep, like sleep apnea, are related to diabetes.
Sleep is linked to your overall health, which is why lacking rest might affect your physical health. It may cause chronic medical conditions like diabetes, heart diseases, and obesity. It’s now evident that a good night’s sleep is vital for a long, healthy life.