How Sleep Deprivation Negatively Affects Your Health

Sleep is a basic human need and an essential existential requirement. Besides its vital life-performing function, sleep profoundly impacts all spheres of everyday life. We spend one-third of our lifetime sleeping, so the quality and quantity of sleep consequently affect our awake state and overall health.

How Sleep Deprivation Negatively Affects Your Health

In today's text, we will describe the long-term effects of partial sleep deprivation and evaluate its health impact. 

What is sleep deprivation and its causes?

Sleep deprivation can be total or partial. Total sleep deprivation is the absence of any sleep during a limited period, but in today's post, we will focus on partial sleep deprivation as the most common form. Chronic partial sleep deprivation refers to less sleep than is recommended and required for optimal body functioning.

The recommended hours of sleep are evaluated by age and individual performance. The recommended hours of sleep for adults are 7 to 9 hours. Sleep deprivation can be caused by a decreased REM state, even if you still have enough sleeping hours. Sleep deprivation might be caused by medical conditions such as asthma, anxiety, and depression.

Certain medications and substances, such as alcohol, steroids, caffeine, and others, can also affect the difficulty of falling and maintaining sleep. The syndrome of disturbed sleep is noticed in workers who often change shifts because of the impossibility of establishing disciplined nighttime sleep.

Changing working shifts from night to day leads to circadian rhythm disorders. A regular sleep routine and a normal wake cycle are prerequisites for establishing quality sleep.

Experts recommend conducting a sleeping routine and avoiding compensating for insufficient sleep during the week by sleeping longer on the weekends. Also, excessive daytime sleeping is inadvisable. 

Afflictions caused by sleep insufficiency

The harmful impact on the brain and psyche

During sleep, our brain reorganizes neurons and clears out toxins from our nervous system. Sleep provides the brain with the opportunity to convert short-term memory into long-term. In terms of the cognitive aspect, sleep disorders affect memory, the capacity to remember and think. Another negative aspect of not getting enough sleep is decreased reflexes, focus, and response to stimulants due to depressed connections between brain cells. Lack of concentration caused by lack of sleep reflects in poor work performance, errors, driving accidents, and injuries.

Besides the mental impact of sleep disturbance, this condition also influences our psychological being by increasing anxiety, depression, bad mood, and emotional instability. The part of the brain that regulates emotions and fear is called the amygdala. In sleep-deprived conditions, this cell structure tends to overreact and express impulsive behavior. As an important part of the psyche, sleep poverty can progress mental health conditions.

Drops the immunity

A sleep deficit weakens the immune response to viruses, bacteria, and germs. During sleep, our body restores and produces antibodies and cytokines. These substances are responsible for our protection from harmful microbes. With a lack of sleep, the production of these proteins decreases, leaving our body with less capacity to fight and defend against illness. 

Respiratory system 

The respiratory system and sleep have a close correlation. As a breathing disorder (OSA) can infect sleep continuity, sleep deprivation mutually infects the lungs, making them vulnerable to infections.

Digestive system and metabolism

As sleep influences the production of the hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin, the correlation between sleep and weight is evident. Reduced sleep time moderates the secretion of the peptide leptin by lowering and promoting ghrelin, consequently stimulating appetite. Sleep deficiency is related to weight gain and obesity through metabolic dysregulation but also decreases the production of insulin. Deprivation of sleep reduces the insulin that levels the blood sugar, causing a lower tolerance to glucose and eventually insulin resistance and diabetes.

If you’re someone trying to lose weight, whether it’s through lipo c injections, calorie deficit, or any other weight loss methodology, having a proper sleep routine is fundamental for you to reach your goals and allow your body to function correctly.

Cardiovascular system

Sleep plays an important role in blood pressure and inflammation. The body's ability to heal and repair blood vessels is altered by sleep, and a lack of it can cause heart and cardiovascular diseases. Without enough sleep, you can experience symptoms like an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and fatigue. Some studies opine that insomnia can contribute to heart attack, failure, and stroke.

The endocrine system, child growth, and development

Sleep has a vital role in hormonal production. For the optimal level of testosterone, at least three hours of uninterrupted sleep are required. As sleep impoverishment has such a great effect on hormones, jeopardizing hormonal secretion in children and adolescents threatens their growth. Thus, adequate sleep helps build muscle mass and repair tissues and cells.

Final Thoughts

Frequent trouble falling and staying asleep should be considered warning signs. Experiencing the symptoms of sleep deprivation should be the priority in threatening To ensure enough uninterrupted sleep, we suggest you establish a consistent schedule of 8 sleeping hours and a fixed time for wake-up and going to bed, during the week and on weekends. Avoid heavy meals, alcohol, coffee, and smoking shortly before leaving for bed. Keep your bedroom a place for relaxation, coolness, and quiet, where you will find an oasis of tranquility and peace.