Lifestyle - Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Category: Lifestyle

Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Dyana Macalino   September 21, 2018

Anyone who has spent a night tossing and turning in bed will feel grumpy, tired, and less alert. Long term effects include weight gain, weaker mental abilities and all sorts of health problems such as heart attacks, stroke, and diabetes. Here are 6 results of sleep deprivation.

1. Slows down metabolism

Not getting enough shut-eye could contribute to a growing waistline. It affects your metabolism and causes the body to release stress hormones. Cortisol, a stress hormone that is used by the mind to control anxiety, mood, and drive, is secreted during times of stress, which lead to increased blood pressure, muscle tension, and a higher heart rate. It is important that Cortisol is released at the right time in proper doses. Lack of sleep leads to too much cortisol secreted which leads to irregular metabolism and weight gain.

2. Cravings

Sleep deprivation makes self-control a harder task. Without sleep as a source of energy, it will resort to other methods such as food to keep the body going. Not only will the body want more food but it will crave for food with fats and sugar which leads to weight gain. Studies show that enough sleep should be part of a weight-loss program.

3. Accelerated aging

A few nights of not sleeping well will result in puffy eyes and sallow skin. Long term effects chronic sleep loss lead to fine lines, dark circles under the eyes, and lackluster skin. Sleep loss prevents the body from producing enough human growth hormone. In children, this helps their bodies grow. In adults, it serves to promote muscle mass, keep bones healthy, and thicken skin.

4. Brain function

The brain cells rely on sleep like fuel. When you don’t get enough, it leads to slower thinking and memory retention. The mind won’t be as alert and attentive which impacts the thought process. This makes it difficult to work, sleep, or do other activities properly. Sleep deprivation also makes people moody and irritable. This affects relationships with others, especially for kids and teens. It is harder to think clearly, form memories, and react quickly when the body and mind is exhausted.

5. Weaker immune system

The body relies on sleep to produce cytokines, a substance that fights infections and foreign bacteria to prevent illnesses. Sleep deprivation affects the body’s ability to kill viruses and causes a longer recovery period from illnesses. Not getting enough sleep increases the risk of developing chronic illnesses like heart diseases and diabetes.

6. Increases accidents

A drowsy driver is just as a dangerous as a drunk one. When you are tired and sleepy, falling asleep at the wheel is likely. Fatigue affects the reaction time of a driver which can lead to car accidents. This is also applicable to motorcycles, bus drivers, jeepneys, and taxi drivers. The driver is not only a danger to themselves but to their passengers and the public. To remedy this, one should only drive when they are well rested and alert. A sleep deprived driver is a dangerous driver.


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Dyana Macalino

Dyana Macalino is a writer and editor specialist in health, lifestyle
and food. Follow her at @DyanaMacalino

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