Sleep Deprivation Health Effects – 7 Reasons You Need Good Rest

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Sleep Deprivation Effects That Will Ruin Your Life

There are many conditions that cause various problems to surface and negatively affect our lives. Amongst these conditions is the often overlooked and neglected sleep deprivation. This condition can cause serious issues like extreme weight gain and weight loss, drowsiness throughout the day, and extreme fatigue.

Ensuring you get enough sleep is just as important as regular exercise and following a good diet. Your health can be affected by lack of sleep in very similar ways as a bad nutritional diet or complete lack of exercise.

People living in the Americas have been slowly losing the amount of sleep they partake in every day. We used to sleep longer and more restfully than we do now. However, our constant stressful environments have drastically reduced how much we sleep and the quality of sleep that we get.

7 Sleep Deprivation Health Effects

Here are some of the ways that neglecting your sleep can negatively affect your life and health.

1. Lowered Cognitive Performance

It might seem like a little thing, but getting the right amount of sleep can drastically improve your ability to be productive and increase your levels of concentration. In the world of medicinal work, it is well-known that those who are interested in the field often become interns in an attempt to learn more about the industry and find a job. Frequently, these interns are running on very little sleep.

A recent study was done to evaluate the difference between interns who have a tight schedule which limits their amount of sleep versus those who have a more relaxed schedule and usually get plenty of sleep. The results dictate that those who received plenty of sleep made fewer medical mistakes than those who slept less. In fact, there was a 36 percent difference in the frequency of errors between the two groups.

Another study was performed to determine the difference between alcohol intoxication and sleep deprivation. Surprisingly, the two are very similar in the way they affect your body. There is a good reason you should never drive while being sleep deprived.

It has also been verified that problem-solving exercises are easier to solve for adults and children who have been sleeping the right amount.

2. Risk Of Chronic Diseases Is Increased

There are plenty of conditions that can lead to the development of chronic diseases. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation is one of them. Those who don’t get enough sleep are often more likely to increase risk factors associated with chronic illnesses.

One study that proves this involved analyzing data from 15 separate studies. The results showed clearly that people who were able to sleep 7 to 8 hours every night were less likely to develop heart diseases and were less likely to suffer from a stroke, then people who didn’t get as much sleep each night.

Insulin sensitivity is also drastically altered in people who are frequently getting less sleep. A study showed that for healthy young men who were only receiving four hours of sleep for a week each night in a row, signs of diabetes were clearly visible in these patients. Once the men return to a normal sleep schedule, their insulin levels also returned to normal amounts.

Regulating blood sugar is also something that is affected by the amount of sleep you get. Research shows that if you are sleeping less than 6 hours every night, your chances of becoming a type 2 diabetic are higher.

As you can see, there are plenty chronic diseases that can be related to sleep deprivation. It isn’t worth skipping out on a few hours of sleep and increasing the risks of developing these illnesses so drastically.

3. Hinders Your Immune System

Your immune system is what keeps you healthy when it comes to protecting you against pathogens, viruses, and bacteria. Losing just a few hours of sleep can have a detrimental effect on your immune system, meaning you become more prone to getting sick.

A study that supports this was done on 150 participants who were completely healthy. They were each given nasal spray that contains a virus which is responsible for causing the common cold.

Out of all of the participants, those who slept 7 or fewer hours per night ended up being 3 times more likely to come down with a cold when compared to subjects who got more than eight hours of sleep. So if you notice yourself getting cold’s frequently, try to add a few hours to your sleep schedule. It might help.

4. Your Body’s Performance Is Decreased

Adequate sleep also seems to be absolutely vital for athletic performance and your body’s performance in general.  Research has been done on basketball players’ performance in correlation with their sleep habits.

The conclusions indicate that the players who had plenty of sleep were able to not only react faster but also moved faster, as well. Furthermore, the accuracy of these players was much higher and their overall mental wellbeing was on a higher level, as well.

An additional study was performed which involved 3000 older women. These women, who were lacking in sleep, showed a drastic decrease in their ability to function throughout the exercises in addition to overall decreased performance.

Additionally, the speed of walking amongst these women was drastically reduced too, as well as their ability to grip and their ability to follow the directions for performing each physical activity.

5. Weight Gain And Increased Appetite Are A Direct Result Of Sleep Deprivation

It turns out lack of sleep is a big risk for obesity, and there are many studies that draw this link. People who don’t get enough sleep generally end up gaining a larger amount of weight when compared to people who get enough rest.

This applies to children, as well. Kids who consistently do not get enough sleep have much higher chances of becoming obese than adults do. A review of various research studies has shown that kids are about 89 percent likelier to become severely overweight when they don’t get an appropriate amount of sleep, while adults are about 53 percent more likely to become obese.

Fatigue, which is often caused by sleep deprivation, is yet another factor which is able to add those extra pounds to your overall weight. Your motivation to exercise is reduced severely when you are sleepy, which results in hormone-related changes that influence your weight negatively.

Ghrelin is the culprit. When you are sleep deprived, ghrelin is produced in higher quantities. This hormone is known as a hunger hormone. Leptin is another hormone which is influenced by sleep deprivation. It’s produced at much lower levels in people who sleep less. Leptin is the hormone that can suppress your appetite.

All of this research means that when you are sleep deprived, you are actually hungrier, which means you are eating more and thus are more likely to gain weight.

6. Higher Inflammation Levels

Inflammation levels are also closely related to sleep deprivation. This additional inflammation can cause damage to your cells and result in the development of chronic illnesses related to frequent inflammation.

One of the problems that can arise from this increased inflammation is the digestive tract disorder known as irritable bowel syndrome. People who don’t sleep are at a higher risk of developing this disease. Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease, is heavily influenced by the amount of sleep you get. If you are sleep deprived, the chances of relapse are twice as likely.

7. Endocrine System Influence

As we mentioned earlier, hormone production is affected by your sleep. For example, you need a minimum of three hours of sleep, uninterrupted, to produce testosterone. If you are experiencing restless sleep and wake up frequently, the production of testosterone could be interrupted.

If these interruptions are frequent, the production of the other growth hormones can be severely influenced, especially amongst children and teenagers. This could be a huge problem because these hormones are significantly responsible for helping repair cells, as well as other tissues, and building muscles.

Even though our pituitary gland is always releasing these hormones into our body, sleep and exercise are also very important and can help improve the release of growth hormones. Lack of sleep can do the opposite, resulting in development issues and other potential problems.

Sleep Deprivation Health Effects Conclusion

While working out and ensuring that you get the nutrition you need out of your diet are absolutely vital for optimal health, often we end up sacrificing sleep to get everything into our busy schedule. This is a really bad idea, considering lack of sleep can cause serious health problems to develop. You have to pay as much attention to your sleep duration and the quality of your sleep as to other health-related activities.

Your REM cycle is about 90 minutes long, so if you find that you absolutely cannot get enough sleep on a given night, you should at least try to get an amount that will end at the end of a REM cycle and not in the middle of one. This way, you can ensure that you will awake more rested and feel as if you have gotten a sufficient amount of sleep.

In reality, you should really try to do this no matter how long you will be sleeping that night, as waking in the middle of a REM cycle can make you feel downright terrible no matter how long you have been asleep.

If you have a difficult time falling asleep, we strongly suggest talking to your doctor about it. They will be able to suggest possible supplements or medications that can help you improve your sleep quality and duration depending on your medical history. There are many supplements out there capable of helping you fall asleep with 100 percent natural ingredients in them, and there is no reason not to take advantage of them.

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