Long term side effects of sleep deprivation on your body are real. Sleep deprivation puts your physical health at risk. And it drains your mental fitness. In fact, sleep deprivation has been linked with different types of health problems such as weakened immune system and weight gain.
Our bodies need sleep to function at its best. The body heals itself and restores its chemical imbalance when we are sleeping. Sleep helps memory retention. If you do not get enough sleep, your body systems will not function normally. And sleep deprivation lowers your quality of life.
What are common signs of sleep deprivation? Daytime fatigue, irritability, and yawning.
The following are 5 effects of sleep deprivation on your body.
Central Nervous System
Sleep is necessary to keep the central nervous system functioning properly. However, chronic insomnia disrupts how the body sends information. Sleep deprivation leaves the brain exhausted, so it is hard to concentrate or learn new things.
Sleep deprivation decreases your coordination skills. It increases your risks for accidents. It affects your emotional state and mental abilities. And it compromises your creativity or decision-making processes.
Sleep deprivation prevents the immune system from producing protective and infection-fighting substances such as cytokines. The immune system produces these substances when you are sleeping. And it uses them to fight foreign invaders like viruses and bacteria.
Cytokines give your immune system energy to fight diseases and it helps you sleep.
If you do not get enough sleep, you will take a long time to recover from an illness. In fact, long term sleep deprivation increases your risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.
Sleep deprivation increases the chance of becoming obese or overweight. Sleep affects levels of ghrelin and leptin that control feelings of fullness and hunger.
Leptin communicates to the brain when you have not eaten. If you are not getting enough sleep, the brain reduces the level of leptin and it raises the level of ghrelin that is an appetite stimulant. Most people overeat later in the night because of the increased levels of ghrelin.
Sleep deprivation contributes to weight gain because it makes you feel too tired to do physical exercise.
Sleep deprivation affects the health of your blood vessels and heart. It also affects your blood pressure, blood sugar, and inflammation levels. And it plays an important role in the body’s ability to repair and heal the heart and the blood vessels.
If you are not getting enough sleep, you are more likely to get cardiovascular disease.
Hormone production depends on your sleep. For example, for your body to produce testosterone, you need at least three hours of uninterrupted sleep. If you wake up throughout the night, it affects your hormone production.
Sleep interruption affects the production of growth hormone, especially in adolescents and children. Growth hormone helps repair tissues and cells. And it helps build muscle mass.
You now know 5 effects of sleep deprivation on your body.