Effects of Sleep Deprivation – Health

Sleep is important when it comes to physical health. Regular poor sleep can cause some serious health conditions. These include heart problems, high blood pressure, which affects your blood sugar levels, obesity, diabetes, and more.

Increased health care, decreased productivity, the reduction of our life expectancy, and our day-to-day well-being,

Data analysis from three different sleep studies has shown that sleeping five hours or less a night can increase our mortality rate by as much as 15%.

Let’s Talk About Risk

Deciding on the risks of insufficient sleep is complicated as medical conditions don’t happen overnight. They develop slowly and many risk factors play into it.

Research has shown that sleeping less than eight hours a night regularly puts us at a greater risk of developing bad health conditions. Sleeping only two or three hours a night can have devastating effects on our health.

  1. Obesity: Studies have shown that people who sleep less than six hours a night regularly are prone to having a high risk of having excessive body weight.
  2. Cardiovascular disease: A recent study has shown that people sleeping six to seven-hours a night are at a greatly increased risk of coronary artery calcification which can lead to heart attack and death.
  3. Diabetes: Some studies show people sleeping less than five hours a night have a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  4. Immune function: Sleep and the immune system have interactions that have been documented as sleep deprivation increases levels of many inflammatory mediators and infections.
  5. Common cold: People averaging less than seven hours of sleep a night according to a recent study are three times more likely to develop cold symptoms compared to those getting eight hours of sleep nightly.

Sleep is very important when it comes to physical health.

Regular poor sleep can cause some serious health conditions. These include heart problems, high blood pressure, which affects your blood sugar levels, obesity, and diabetes. Not to mention many more.

Does sleep affect our health

Going several days without sleep can kill you. Sleeping less than 6 hours a night could increase your chances of premature death.

One night of poor sleep can also have profound negative effects on the body which can create a lot of health problems. Some of the health problems can be reversed and others can’t.

Lack of Sleep and the Sex Drive

loss of sex drive

Men and women who are sleep deprived have reported lower libidos according to sleep specialists. Also depleted energy, sleepiness, increased tension, abnormally low levels of testosterone, and loss of sex drive.

Nightly sleep can affect sex in multiple ways according to research studies. Several sleep disorders have been connected to sexual problems.

Reduced sexual desire in women and a higher risk of erectile dysfunction in men. Obstructed sleep apnea [OSA] has been associated with erectile dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction in women has also been tied to OSA as studies have shown.

Work schedules such as working overtime on the job have also been linked to erectile dysfunction throwing the circadian rhythm out of alignment or working swing shifts causing many problems with bodily processes.

Mental health due to insufficient and fragmented sleep patterns can also hinder sex and can cause conditions such as depression and anxiety. Sexual desire and arousal can often be affected by these disorders in men and women.

Poor sleep can make conflict in relationships more likely to create an emotional state that heightens stress, decreases intimacy which diminishes a satisfying sex life.

Sleep Deprivation Ages Your Skin

After a few nights of tossing and turning and missing out on the required amount of sleep. The skin can lose its natural complexion causing the skin to turn yellow or brown. Puffy eyes, fine lines in the skin, and dark circles under the eyes are also signs of missed sleep.

Lack of sleep causes your body to release more of the stress hormone called cortisol. In great amounts, skin collagen can be broken down by cortisol. Collagen is the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic.

Human growth hormone (HGH) is needed to help us grow and as we age.

It helps increase muscle mass, thicken skin and strengthen bones, and helps maintain, build and repair healthy brain tissue and other organs in our bodies.

Sleep loss can reduce the amount of (HGH) being produced by the body. Causing less of the hormone to be produced than the body requires.

Catching Up on Lost Sleep

Sleeping doesn’t always come easy.

Understanding the benefits of regular good sleep (the recommended amount) is key to a well-balanced part of our health plan.

Eating right, exercising, and regular medical checkups are recommended as well.

Catching up on our sleep is possible but it won’t happen overnight.

A good way to build upon a month’s worth of sleep debt. (lack of sleep) is by taking action and making it happen. Expect this to take several weeks to fully recover.

Begin on a weekend by sleeping 2 extra hours a night.

Go to bed when you are tired and sleep until you awaken naturally in the morning.

No alarm clock and don’t have someone awaken you at a given time, just sleep.

You may get 10 hours the first night but gradually your body will heal. Your sleep time will decrease to a normal level.

While healing does not use caffeine, or energy drinks because this will disrupt your sleep patterns in the long term.

Conclusion

Sleep regularly and be healthy! Work towards bettering your intellectual function, alertness, mood, energy balance, and overall health.

Remember that functioning when you’re tired isn’t a good thing. Getting the recommended amount of sleep allows our minds to think clearly, our reflexes are quicker and we focus better.

Well-rested people operate differently than those people who get an hour or two less sleep a night. Let’s be well-rested and enrich our lives. We should stop being a danger to not only ourselves but to those around us as well.

Sleep is essential for the brain and just about every tissue in our body.

It affects our bodies’ HGH levels, our immune system, appetite, blood pressure, and our cardiovascular health.

Sleep heightens our production level at work and lowers our chances of having accidents. Not just at home or work but also when we are driving and it affects how we interact with others.

If you have any comments or questions about this article please comment below and I will get back to you. Don’t forget to sign up to receive updates on new posts.

4 thoughts on “Effects of Sleep Deprivation – Health”

  1. This is a serious concern as I know some people that have trouble sleeping.  The info that you provided will help me share with them how they can become healthier.  I find it very interesting that Sleep Deprivation Ages Your Skin.  Do you recommend any oral meds to help people sleep better?

    Reply
  2. We all know that sleep is required to replenish the energy used during the day. Thus we wake up refreshed for another day’s work. However not having enough sleep may not be intentional. An over active mind, worries or much unutilized energy may result in less sleep in my own opinion. 

    The article has carefully analyzed all the associated risks of not having enough sleep. the risk I find more worrisome is that of number 2 (Cardiovascular Disease). Why does this have so much impact when the sleeping hours is 6 to 7 as compared to the other risks with fewer sleeping hours?

    Reply
    • It is difficult to assess the risks posed by a lack of sleep. Medical conditions develop slowly and have multiple risk factors associated with them. What we do know is that sleeping less than eight hours per night on a consistent basis appears to increase the risk of developing a number of medical conditions. According to the findings of the study, reducing sleep by just two or three hours per night can have dramatic health consequences.

      Cardiovascular disease and hypertension—A recent study discovered that even minor sleep deprivation (six to seven hours per night) was associated with a significantly increased risk of coronary artery calcification, a predictor of future myocardial infarction (heart attack) and death from heart disease. There is also mounting evidence linking obstructive sleep apnea-related sleep loss to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease, and irregular heartbeat. 

      Reply

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