How Does Your Body React to Sleep Deprivation?
- By Alyssa Ruffing
- Jan 17, 2020
Waking up in the morning after a sleepless night can be exhausting, to say the least. While sometimes getting a full 8 hours a night is not realistic, due to a busier lifestyle, that doesn’t mean you won’t feel a bit off the next day. You may feel tired, fatigued, and the last thing you may want to do is get up and get your day going. While sometimes it may be unavoidable to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night, making a habit of it can have long term effects on your health. Sleep deprivation has been linked with numerous issues, including:
Sleep Deprivation can lead to several issues, one being becoming overweight. The amount of sleep you get affects the levels of two important hormones, leptin and ghrelin, which control feelings of hunger. The hormone leptin sends signals to the brain when you’ve had enough to eat, and with lack of sleep, your brain reduces leptin and increases ghrelin, causing a stimulation in your appetite. Additionally, the lack of sleep can cause an increase in levels of insulin after you have eaten. Insulin controls your blood sugar levels and having a higher insulin level promotes fat storage as well as increases the risk to develop type two diabetes.
Not only does sleep deprivation affect certain hormones, it can also cause you to feel too tired to get exercise in. After getting a poor night’s sleep, a lot of the time the last thing we want to do is head to the gym to workout. While missing one or two workouts here and there isn’t the end of the world, a decline in physical activity over time can cause you to gain weight.
Another cause of not getting enough sleep at night is having trouble concentrating the following day. When you get a poor night’s sleep, your short term as well as long term memory can be impacted. While you sleep, your brain creates connections to help you process old information as well as remember new information. Additionally, your problem-solving skills and concentration will therefor lack when you are sleep deprived. Most of us can absolutely attest to this; if you get a poor night’s sleep, you may often find yourself
Lack of sleep can have an affect on your immune system, preventing it from getting stronger. Not getting the recommended amount of sleep can cause your body to become weaker, and not fend off any sickness that may threaten it, meaning also taking longer to recover from an illness. Getting that 7-9 hours of sleep causes your immune system to produce substances that will fight off bacteria and viruses that could cause you to become sick.