May 4, 2018
No one loves to get a bad night’s sleep. It makes the next day (and maybe the next few days) so much harder. Some people feel exhausted, others have a hard time not snapping at people all day, and even others just feel like the whole world is a bit off-kilter.
Not getting enough sleep not only makes you feel away, it also affects the way your body functions. When you do not get the amount of sleep you need, it changes the function of your body from your brain to your heart and more. The more sleep deprived you are, the more pronounced these effects will be, and the more likely you will have long-term effects.
This is your brain about sleep deprivation
Your brain does NOT like it when you do not get enough sleep. It uses the time you spend sleeping to process events and save data for later retrieval. When you do not get enough sleep, it does not have time to do these things well. This means that sleep deprivation ends up negatively with both your long- and short-term memory.
Sleep also seems to help us with higher thinking skills, such as being creative, solving problems, and being able to focus or concentrate. When we do not get enough rest, our score scores on all of these things go down significantly.
Insomnia also makes us more prone to accidents, especially when we drive. In fact, it makes us sleepless for 18 hours drive as if we were drunk. Losing a few hours of sleep each night for a week will have a similar effect. We may think we are completely competent behind the wheel when we are sleepy, but we are not.
Our brains do not handle adversity or difficulty well when they are tired. We are more prone to mood swings and even to anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses. Impulsive behavior increases when we are tired, so people may be more likely to commit suicide when they are sleep deprived.
Insomnia and your heart
The heart also does not like it when we do not get enough sleep. In fact, people who do not get enough sleep have a significantly higher chance of suffering from it high blood pressure.
As if that were not enough, sleep deprivation is also linked an increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke. It appears that the body removes inflammatory chemicals while resting. When it does not get a chance to do this thoroughly, these are left in your body unchecked. Inflammation is linked to both heart attacks and strokes, so these become more likely in people who do not get enough rest. Lack of sleep in itself can even increase inflammation levels more, which actively increases your chances of suffering from one of these events.
Blood sugar and weight
Sleep deprivation is also linked to increased chances of being overweight and obese and struggling with Type II diabetes. When you do not get enough sleep, your body releases more insulin when you eat. This hormone controls your blood sugar level. The more of it you release, the more likely your body is to store fat and learn to resist it, leading to type II diabetes.
Sleep also affects how much leptin and ghrelin your body produces. These hormones regulate feelings of hunger and satiety. When you do not get enough rest, they become unbalanced. Tired people end up eating more because the hormones tell them they are still hungry. Over time, this can lead to significant weight gain.
Your immune system
The immune system uses the time you sleep to produce several different disease fighters for your body. One of the most important of these is cytokines. These actively help your body fight disease. When you do not get enough sleep, the body does not have time to build up enough of these to effectively keep you healthy.
Balance and coordination
People who do not sleep well struggle more balance and coordination than their well-placed peers. This may be because these are a complex brain process and, as we discussed above, the brain does not perform them very well when tired. It can also be due to the fact that tired muscles, tendons, ligaments and more do not get a good chance to recover when you do not get enough sleep. When they are not firing well, you can become more clumsy.
Sex drive and development
Testosterone is essential for a good sex drive in both men and women. However, it is only produced when you sleep for at least three hours. This means that people who do not get enough sleep, or those who wake up often at night, will have lower hormone levels and therefore lower sex drives.
Sleep also triggers high levels of production human growth hormone in children and adolescents. It affects how quickly they can build muscle mass and how effectively their tissues repair themselves. Children who do not get enough sleep may not produce enough of this to grow well.
Lack of sleep is a bigger problem than we tend to think it is. After all, many of us give up sleeping in favor of all sorts of other things all the time. We may think it’s annoying, but we do not worry too much about it. However, sleep deprivation changes the way our bodies function. If we want to stay healthy and live as long as we can, getting more sleep should be a priority.