Outfitters Journal

Explore our stories for a wide range of topics, from helpful tips to the latest sleep technologies and innovations. Our team of expert Outfitters offers insight into common sleep problems and advice on selecting the right mattress and accessories to find the perfect sleep solution for you.

How Does Your Body React to Sleep Deprivation

— by Sleep Outfitters on Feb 29, 2024

Facing the day after a restless night can be truly exhausting. Achieving a solid 8 hours of sleep isn’t always feasible with the demands of a busy lifestyle, meaning you will find yourself feeling a bit off the next morning. This may include waking up while still tired or fatigued, and the last thing you want to do is pry yourself from bed. Although it can be challenging to consistently meet the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night, continued sleep deprivation can have lasting impacts on your well-being and is associated with various health concerns.

A tired woman in bed.

Weight Gain

Sleep deprivation – when you aren’t getting enough hours of sleep or the quality of your sleep is poor – can contribute to several issues, such as weight gain. The amount of rest you get influences the production of two key hormones, leptin and ghrelin, that regulate appetite and feelings of hunger. While the hormone leptin sends signals to the brain when you’ve had enough to eat, a tired brain reduces leptin and increases ghrelin, stimulating your appetite. Additionally, lack of sleep can cause an increase in levels of insulin after eating. Insulin controls blood sugar, so having higher levels promotes fat storage and increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Not only does inadequate sleep disrupt your hormonal balance, but it also saps your energy, making the idea of exercise less appealing. Following a restless night, the gym will feel like the last place you want to be. While missing one or two workouts here and there might seem inconsequential, a sustained period of reduced physical activity can contribute to weight gain.

Concentration Issues

Insufficient sleep also leads to a decline in cognitive function the next day. While asleep, your brain creates connections to help you process old information as well as remember new information. When sleep is compromised, short-term and long-term memory can suffer, affecting recall and retention. Many of us can confirm this: a sleepless night frequently leads to challenges in productivity.

Weakened Immunity

Perhaps most alarming of all, sleep may also compromise your immune system and prevent it from getting stronger. Falling short of the recommended amount of sleep can also cause your body to become weaker and unable to fend off threatening illnesses, leaving you susceptible to sickness and prolonging recovery time.

Prioritizing 7-9 hours of sleep at night can help your immune system operate at its optimal capacity and – along with many other positive factors – lead to a higher quality of life.

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