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What Happens To Your Body When You Deprive It Of Sufficient Sleep

What Happens To Your Body When You Deprive It Of Sufficient Sleep

Getting a good night's sleep is difficult considering the crazy schedule that we follow, but to give your body good sleep is more important than you think.

Sleep, the most vital thing for the human body, is often taken for granted and is compromised on, possibly due to a busy schedule, long hours at work or family commitments. Consistently depriving the body of sleep can have severe and serious problems that you may not even be aware of. Forgetfulness, heartburn, listlessness and fatigue are few of the many issues that are associated with sleep deprivation. As per a report carried in The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, lack of sleep affects the way people react, alters their performance, which also includes their ability to think clearly as well as forming memories. Here are a few things that happen to your body due to lack of sleep.

 

1) You can't think straight

Not getting adequate sleep for one night leads to a considerable level of cognition issues, so if a person doesn't get enough sleep on a daily basis, it will hamper the way they think and function at a considerable level. A lot of evidence suggests that sufficient sleep is necessary to maintain and nurture connections of neuronal networks for memory consolidation in the hippocampus. The brain functions that include reasoning, decision-making, memory and problem-solving is deteriorated with time as well as the alertness and reaction time to situations. As per a report carried in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the downside of lack of sleep is an overall effect on how the brain functions, which includes the processing of learning and storage of memory.

 

2) Your sex drive decreases

Sleep deprivation has a direct effect on the level of tiredness, which is a given, as the body isn’t getting enough rest. Fatigue and listlessness go hand in hand and which is the reason that at the end of the day, you will feel a lack of energy and do not wish to get intimate with your partner. Chronic sleep deprivation, as well as sleep disorders, lead to a reduced interest in sex. This is primarily because the reduced sleep in the night leads to a constant feeling of sleepiness through the day and lack of vigor becomes the byproduct of it, ultimately deteriorating the quality of sex and the overall sex drive. A study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information showed that 171 women who were part of this had recorded their sexual activity and sleep schedule and sleep pattern for 14 days. It was found that women who were sleep deprived for a prolonged period of time, experienced poorer arousal during sex than those who had slept better.

 

3) You tend to gain weight    

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iStock

You may not realize it, but one of the reasons that you have suddenly started gaining weight is because of your erratic sleep schedule. What usually happens is that due to the lack of sleep which leads to lack of energy, you tend to grab a cup of coffee or foods and drinks that are high in caffeine and sugar. Plus the busy schedule keeps you away from the gym and all of this changes your waistline and you end up gaining weight, especially around the middle part of the body. A comprehensive study of three years that was conducted a few years back highlighted the link between sleep and weight in 21,469 adults over the age of 20. People who gained more weight and eventually became obese were the ones who slept less than five hours each night. However, people who slept between seven to eight hours had a better track record.

 

4) Your appearance gets affected

The immediate and the most noticeable effects of sleep deprivation is the way your face looks. The skin texture and skin elasticity bear the brunt of it and lesser hours of sleep for a consistent period of time can also lead to early wrinkles, fine lines and uneven skin tone. Skin produces new collagen when you sleep, which is sort of a healing process for the skin to repair the damage done to it. This is also required to ensure that the skin doesn’t sag, reduces the chances of wrinkles and the skin looks plumper. But if a person sleeps only 5 hours or less than that, the work that collagen tries to do is drastically affected.

 

5) It increases your chances of diabetes

Sleep issues and diabetes are like two sides of the same coin, as not sleeping well can increase the risk of developing diabetes and diabetes can cause sleep loss. People who are sleep deprived increase their chances of getting adult-onset diabetes! As per a report in WebMD, sleep deprivation can lead up to pre-diabetic state as the body’s response to lack of sleep resembles insulin resistance, which is a precursor to diabetes. Insulin’s job in the body is to help the body make use of glucose for energy. But when there’s insulin resistance, the cells in the body fail to use this hormone to its fullest, and that leads to high blood sugar.


6) You become prone to heart diseases

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iStock

As per an analysis by the European Heart Journal, not just lack of sleep, which is around 5 hours or less, but also oversleeping, which is 9 hours or more, has a bad impact on the heart. Specifically, the chances of getting a stroke and developing coronary heart diseases increase substantially with less sleep. As per a report carried in the Sleep Foundation, sleep deprivation among adolescents faces leads to a higher risk of them developing cardiovascular problems. They also had a higher body mass index, above-normal cholesterol levels, and larger waist sizes. Club this with the lifestyle that they lead, all of this snowballs into health risks, which ultimately takes a toll on cardiac health.

 

7) Your immune system goes for a toss

When we sleep, our immune system produces infection-fighting substances and protective essentials like cytokines. Substances like these are used in order to fight harmful viruses and bacteria. Not only that, cytokines help with sleep, which gives the immune system better energy to defend against illnesses. However, when you sleep less, it prevents your immune system to build up these important elements. Also, certain cytokines tend to increase when there’s an inflammation or infection in the body, as well as when the stress levels are high. So when the production of cytokines gets affected, you will find yourself falling sick more often, feel weak and also take longer than usual to recover from sickness.   

 

References:

https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sleep/what-happens-to-your-body-when-you-lose-sleep#6  

https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/sleep/conditioninfo/sleep-deprivation

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3648777/

https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/relationships#1

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11325-011-0583-0

https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/features/diabetes-lack-of-sleep#1

Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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