Sleep is an everyday activity everybody should strive to get at least 8 hours. It’s a crucial activity that contributes to your overall health. It helps your mind and body function properly and avoids some of the daily problems caused by the lack of it. You become sleep deprived when your sleeping hours are less than those of being awake. Some of the most common sleep deprivation symptoms include moodiness, fatigue, forgetfulness, yawning, clumsiness, depressed mood, among others.
Below are some detailed effects of sleep deprivation you should look into.
Sleep deprivation, especially for a long time, leads to decreased body and brain functionality which affects your health. People suffering from sleep deprivation should be careful and find ways to improve sleep to avoid the health problems caused by it. Some of the negative effects due to lack of enough sleep are:
1. Affects your immune system functionality
The immune system plays a major role in your body in preventing and defending you from illness. This is done with substances like cytokines produced by the immune system. Cytokines also act as sleep stimulants, therefore, boosting your immune system capability in defending your body. When you are sleep deprived, your immune system becomes weak, making you prone to illness like heart disease and diabetes. Also, once your immune system is weak, your ability to heal faster is affected.
2. Weight gain
Sleep deprivation is another cause of excessive weight gain leading to obesity and overweight. When you don’t get enough sleep, the levels of the hormones ghrelin and leptin that control the feeling of fullness and hunger are affected. Your leptin, which sends signals to your brain once you have eaten enough decreases and ghrelin an appetite stimulant increases when you are sleep deprived. This is why the need to keep eating during the night increases, which contributes to weight gain.
Also, when there is not enough sleep, exercising becomes hard due to feeling tired most of the time which affects your weight. Sleep deprivation can also increase the chances of getting type 2 diabetes.
3. Affects your cardiovascular system
Lack of sleep makes you prone to cardiovascular diseases like stroke and heart attack. This is because sleep can interfere with the processes that keep your blood vessels and heart healthy including blood sugar, inflammation levels, and your blood pressure. Also, sleep deprivation may interfere with your body’s healing and repairing heart and blood vessels ability.
4. Affects your endocrine system
In order to produce testosterone hormones, you need to sleep for at least 3 hours without being interrupted. If your sleep is interrupted, your growth and testosterone hormone production is affected. These hormones help in repairing cells and tissues and build muscle mass, especially in adolescents and children.
Lack of enough sleep negatively affects your emotional state and mental abilities which are dangerous to you and those surrounding you. Adults and children should make sure that they get enough sleep with the children sleeping for at least 12 hours and adults 8 hours. Causes of sleep deprivation like chronic illnesses, depression, and hormonal imbalances should be addressed and solved. Some of the ways to improve your sleep include your sleeping time at night and waking time in the morning daily should be the same, avoiding or limiting your naps, exercising, eating healthy, etc.