If you are going to bed late at night and have to wake up early, you already know how you'll feel the next day. Even one night of poor sleep can lead to various unpleasant symptoms. However, regular sleep deprivation does more than just make you sluggish and angry.
Sleep deprivation has long-term consequences. It reduces your mental performance and can wreak havoc on your physical health. Poor sleep has been related to a variety of health issues, ranging from poor concentration to heart problems.
Learn more about insomnia-related health problems.
While sleep deprivation can exacerbate or trigger depression, people with depression or anxiety are more likely to sleep less and suffer from insomnia. Insomnia is the most frequent sleep condition that has the strongest link to depression. People who suffer from insomnia are five times more prone to depression than those who do not. Difficulty falling asleep is usually one of the earliest signs of depression.
Insomnia and depression feed each other. Sleep deprivation aggravates the symptoms of depression, and depression can make falling asleep more difficult. In most cases, correcting sleep issues can aid in the treatment of depression and its symptoms, and vice versa.
Sleep is crucial for thinking and learning. Insomnia can negatively impact various cognitive functions in different ways. It can hinder attention, awareness, focus, thinking, and problem-solving abilities. This makes learning and thinking more challenging. Besides, different sleep cycles take part in "consolidating" memories in the mind during the night’s sleep. You won't be able to recall everything you learned during the day if you don't get enough sleep.
Sleep deprivation can increase your hunger and appetite, making you more likely to overeat and gain weight. People who sleep less than six hours each day are over 30% more likely to gain excessive weight than those who sleep seven to nine hours each night.
Insomnia interferes with the production of peptides that regulate hunger. Ghrelin promotes hunger, but leptin signals satiety to the brain and lowers appetite. Sleep deprivation is linked to lower levels of leptin and higher levels of ghrelin. Not only does lack of sleep tend to increase hunger, It also increases the desire for high-fat and high-carbohydrate meals.
After a few nights of poor sleep, you may notice that your skin becomes shallow and your eyes puffy. It has been shown that prolonged sleep deprivation can result in dull skin, fine wrinkles, and dark bags under your eyes. When you don't get enough sleep, your body produces more cortisol, the stress hormone. In excess, this hormone breaks down protein collagen that makes skin smooth and elastic.
Sleep deprivation also makes your body produce less human growth hormone. This hormone helps to enhance muscle mass, thicken skin, and strengthen bones.
Insomnia is a major risk factor for hypertension and heart disease. Chronic insomnia often contributes to harmful habits that harm your heart over time. Increased stress and decreased physical activity are among them.
Besides, insomnia often leads to unhealthy eating choices and overeating. You may crave fatty and sugary foods to compensate for the energy that wasn’t restored during the night’s sleep. Diet high in fatty and sugary foods make you susceptible to artery plaque accumulation and heart attack.
Getting too little sleep can worsen your immunity. This makes you more vulnerable to infections and viruses that cause the common cold and flu. When you sleep, your body produces substances that help regulate inflammation and help your body fight infections. Sleep deprivation weakens your immune system. If you don't get enough sleep, your body may be unable to fight invaders, while recovering from the disease may take longer.
Sleep-deprived men and women often have decreased libido and experience less desire from sex. Depleted energy, drowsiness, and increased stress are unlikely to increase your sexual desire. Men with particular sleep problems (sleep apnea) that decrease the quality of night’s sleep have lower testosterone levels that play important role in sexual dysfunction. Improving the quality of night’s sleep is usually helpful.
Chronic insomnia may raise your risk of diabetes. Persistent sleep deprivation affects your body’s production of insulin, a hormone that regulates your blood sugar levels. If your blood sugar levels are elevated during a long period of time, your risk of developing diabetes may increase significantly. Unhealthy food choices that often appear after insomnia may add to your risk of diabetes.
Sleep influences the levels of two hormones, leptin and ghrelin, which regulate appetite. For this reason sleep deprivation often leads to unhealthy food choices and overeating, especially at night. Eating unhealthy foods can wreak havoc on your overall health. But the digestive tract usually suffers the most. You may experience issues like bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and cramping. It is crucial to visit the gastroenterologist if you have symptoms of digestive problems.