sleep deprivation

10 Ways Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Health

Peter Bua Sleep Leave a Comment

Simply put, sleep deprivation means you don’t get enough sleep. Although the amount may vary slightly from person to person, studies show most adults need somewhere between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. If you continuously get less than that, you might notice you often feel tired during the day. You may observe changes in your mood and overall health, with the following being some of the most common issues brought on by sleep deprivation.

Get started learning about improving your sleep quantity and quality by reading: Wrestling the Insomnia Demon

1. Memory

If you already have trouble remembering things, it’s imperative that you get enough sleep so you can increase memory retention. When you experience sleep deprivation, your brain’s neurons are too burnt out to receive new information or even access old information. So if you want to keep your memory in check, make sure you get enough sleep.

2. Mood

If you want to be in a good mood as often as possible, sleep should be a priority. When you don’t get enough rest, you can become irritable and short tempered in general, because a sleep-deprived brain doesn’t properly regulate mood-related chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, and epinephrine. Even if being in a good frame of mind isn’t a big deal to you, it probably is to those around you! Focus on getting some serious shuteye every night.

3. Immune System

If you’re sick of being sick, more sleep is a must! When you’re sleep deprived, your immune system’s defenses are down, therefore you’re more likely to become ill after being exposed to viruses and bacteria. Are you running low on sick days at work? Try squeezing in more sleep starting tonight.

4. Blood Pressure

Studies indicate that if you get less than about five hours of sleep per night, you’re at increased risk for high blood pressure. If you have any other risk factors—such as family history of high blood pressure—find your inner Sleeping Beauty for at least seven hours.

5. Weight

When you get enough sleep, your body typically has no problem signaling to your brain that your stomach is full. But when you’re struggling with sleep deprivation, those chemicals go AWOL! This can cause weight gain because sleep deprivation prompts you to eat more than you normally would. As you can see, the best way to solve this issue is to sleep more, which means you can slow down your weight gain simply by getting more rest. That’s probably the easiest tactic to try, so what do you have to lose?

You can avoid some of these symptoms by finding ways to improve your sleep: Sleeping Better At Night with Yoga [and Other Things]

6. Diabetes

When you don’t sleep enough, your body doesn’t release the right amount of insulin, leading to high blood sugar levels. The result may be type 2 diabetes. Generally, it’s much easier to start sleeping more than to deal with this lifelong medical condition, so try fitting more sleep into your schedule to keep diabetes at bay.

7. Heart Health

Sleep deprivation can result in heart disease. After all, it may increase blood pressure, while also causing some inflammation, and both of these together can increase your risk of heart problems. Want to protect your heart? Start with more sleep every night.

8. Balance

Even something as simple as your balance can be thrown off by sleep deprivation. This means you’re more likely to fall and hurt yourself, which is a bigger risk as you age. If you want to protect your body from bruises and broken bones as you get older, make sure you get around eight hours of sleep per night.

9. Sex Drive

Low libido is another little-known issue caused by sleep deprivation. Granted, it makes sense, because it’s hard to find the time or desire for sex when you’re just focused on falling asleep the moment your head hits the pillow. Did you know that sleep deprivation in men can decrease testosterone? But you can avoid this issue by –you guessed it–getting sufficient sleep.

10. Concentration

It’s hard to think clearly when you’re tired. Consequently, you’ll have trouble focusing, problem solving, or even being creative when you’re suffering from sleep deprivation. And if you’re like most people in the working world, your job requires at least one of these traits, which means your productivity will take a nosedive as well.

Want to avoid all these health issues? Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep every night! This is proven to make people feel their best, so you should give it a try. After all, getting better sleep is much more affordable and easier to deal with than any of these other health issues.

If you’re having trouble getting to sleep, here are some tricks to try: 5 Tips to Help You Get a Good Night’s Sleep

More sources on sleep deprivation:
Sleep Deficit: The Performance Killer
10 Things to Hate About Sleep Loss