7 Ways Sleep Deprivation Could Harm You
The causes of sleep deprivation could be anything but the harmful effects of this problem should be underlined.
From weight gain to a poor immune system, sleep deprivation can do it all
- Sleep deprivation can have serious long-term effects
- Sleep deprivation can give you a hard time concentrating on your work
- Inability to sleep peacefully increases your risk of high blood pressure
Do you spend your nights while twisting and tossing from one end of the bed to the other? Do you find it difficult to sleep peacefully for eight hours at a stretch? All this is followed by a day of anxiety, fatigue, and irritability. Well, the causes of sleep deprivation could be anything but the harmful effects of this problem should be underlined. You may feel that getting an eight-hour sleep isn't really that important and it would not have any serious, harmful effects either. But you are mistaken. Sleep deprivation can have serious long-term effects.
Also read: Top 7 Reasons Why You Must Sleep Without A Pillow
From weight gain to a poor immune system, sleep deprivation can do it all. It harms you by draining your mental health and putting your physical well-being at risk. Just like your body needs food to function and air to survive, it needs sleep to function at its best. And if you are under the impression that caffeine can fix this problem, get over these beliefs. Nothing can work as well as proper, undisturbed sleep.
Still wondering what the harmful effects of sleep deprivation can be? Keep reading...
1. Trouble in concentrating
Sleep deprivation can give you a hard time concentrating on your work or studies. When you are sleep deprived, most of the time you feel sleepy and irritated. You do not feel fresh which is why you fail to concentrate on your work. Even after sipping on four cups of coffee, you may not feel fresh. As a result, your productivity at work is hampered.
2. Memory problems
When your mind is busy wondering when it would get to sleep properly, it fails to retain important information. As a result, your memory gets hampered. When you sleep, your brain works on making important connections which helps your process and retain information. Sleep deprivation can harm your memory, both short-term and long-term. So the lesser you sleep, the more prone you are to brain damage. Lack of sleep exposes you to a risk of permanent cognitive issues.
3. Weaker immunity
When you give your body a proper eight-hour sleep, it stays fit and strong to fight infections. Sleep deprivation weakens the immune system to an extent where it cannot fight infections and common-flu viruses. As a result, you fall ill very often and very easily.
4. Heart disease
Inability to sleep peacefully for eight-hours increases your risk of high blood pressure. This happens specifically when you fail to get even five hours of sleep. This can lead to inflammation, which coupled with high blood pressure can increase your risk of heart disease in the future. Basically, the stress and the strain of too less sleep produce the hormones that expose you to a risk of cardiovascular diseases in the future.
Also read: The Top 3 Sleeping Positions And Their Health Repercussions; Which One Is Yours?
5. Weight gain
Sleep deprivation increases your craving your food, unhealthy junk food. You end up eating too much of too unhealthy food. This hankering for unhealthy food stems from complicated hormonal changes in your body which take place as a result of insufficient sleep. Lack of sleep increases the hunger hormone in your body and limits the hormone which controls your hunger pangs. As a result, your appetite increases and you are exposed to a risk of weight gain.
6. Diabetes risk
Poor sleep may lead to insulin resistance, shows recent studies. When you are sleep deprived, your body fails to utilize insulin efficiently. So, even if you are on a healthy diet, your risk of diabetes is increased due to insulin resistance.
7. Low sex drive
Sleep deprivation could lower your libido. People who do not get a minimum eight hours of sleep experience a low sex drive. Men are more prone to this effect due to a drop in testosterone levels.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.