Does Lack Of Rest Affect Your Health?

does lack of rest affect health sleep deprived

Sleep experts advise that enough sleep should be a priority for everyone. Just as you aim to eat a healthy diet, you should also ensure you get at least seven hours of sleep daily. 

Unfortunately, many of us are sleep-deprived and severely burnt out. 

What we don’t know is that some of the causes of our insomnia may be simple issues such as diet or bedding. For instance, if you’re in the habit of drinking caffeine before sleep, it’s about time you stopped, as it may be the cause of your insomnia. Similarly, you should buy a pair of hypoallergenic modern bedding sets if you have had your bedding for too long. Old bedding can harbor dust mites that can cause you to have an uncomfortable night. 

It’s essential that you get quality sleep as a night of tossing and turning does more than make you cranky in the morning. Sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, memory problems, and skin issues, among many other health issues. 

In this article, we give you a reason to get a good night’s sleep by letting you know how detrimental a lack of enough rest is to your health. 

1. Weight Gain 

Lack of sleep may be causing you to gain weight. When you’re sleep-deprived, your metabolism doesn’t work properly. 

For instance, lack of sleep affects your nightly hormones, which include leptin and ghrelin. Ghrelin is the hormone that tells you when you need to eat. Unfortunately, when you’re sleepy, your ghrelin levels are high. On the other hand, leptin is a hormone that instructs you to stop eating. When you don’t get enough rest, your leptin levels become low. This is what causes you to have an increased appetite when you’re sleepy. 

Experts also note that lack of sleep also increases your craving for comfort foods rich in sugar, calories, and fats. Consumption of these foods leads to obesity. 

Several studies have linked poor sleep to a higher body mass index.  Poor sleep was shown to increase the likelihood of weight gain in children by 89% and 55% in adults. 

2. Reduced Immunity 

You may have noticed that you’re likely to catch a cold or flu on days when you haven’t slept well. Poor sleep also negatively impacts how fast you recover after getting sick. 

A lack of sleep affects your immune system making it harder for you to fend off viruses. When you’re asleep, your immune system releases cytokines that help you fight infections or inflammation. Lack of sleep may mean decreased cytokine production. Further, sleep deprivation reduces the production of disease-fighting cells and antibodies. Therefore, your body needs sleep if it’s to fight off infections. 

3. Poor Concentration 

Scientists agree that poor sleep slows down your alertness. When you’re sleep-deprived, you find it harder to concentrate or focus. This means you’re less alert, and you’re likely to have difficulties completing tasks that require you to use logical reasoning. 

Poor sleep further impairs good judgment. You find it harder to make decisions as you can’t assess the situation with a clear mind. 

4. Aged Skin 

A few days of poor sleep leads to puffy eyes and sagging skin. However, if you continue being sleep deprived for prolonged periods, you will suffer from dark circles under your eyes and dull skin. 

Lack of sleep leads to cortisol release, a stress hormone that breaks down your skin's collagen. Collagen is the protein responsible for keeping your skin elastic and smooth

Other lack of sleep-related factors that could be the cause of your aging skin include: 

· The Inability Of The Skin To Hold Moisture – This is caused by the failure of your skin to repair damage due to lack of enough rest 

· High-Stress Levels – Stress due to lack of sleep leads to skin inflammation, low production of collagen and increases your risk of getting skin infections and flare-ups 

· Eating Unhealthy Foods – Eating foods with too much sugar and fats due to poor sleep patterns can negatively impact your skin’s elasticity 

5. Lack of Sleep Impairs Memory 

The nerve connections that are responsible for strengthening our memory are formed during sleep. These connections help you remember and process information. Sleep deprivation affects both long-term and short-term memory. It may also cause you to have false memories where you remember things that didn’t really happen. 

According to research done by the University of California among the elderly, poor sleep leads to memory loss and brain deterioration. Thus, a good night’s sleep, in addition to keeping you sharp all day, can also protect you from memory problems such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease when you’re older. 

6. Lack Of Sleep Makes You Moody 

Poor quality of sleep can make you irritable, angry, sad, and quick-tempered. Prolonged sleep deprivation will eventually lead to high-stress levels resulting in depression and anxiety. 

This mental state can also affect sleep. When you’re anxious, you become more agitated, and your body becomes alert making it impossible for you to sleep. The result is a vicious cycle where you never get enough sleep.

7. Greater Likelihood Of Causing Accidents 

Since lack of sleep impairs attention and alertness, it can lead to accidents and injuries. One study found that workers who complained of being sleepy had more work accidents than their colleagues who had enough rest. 

Sleep-deprived workers who operate machinery or those in the trucking industry are likely to cause fatal accidents if they don’t get enough sleep. 

Further, being sleepy during the day can also increase your risk of being involved in a car accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that thousands of car crashes occur annually due to drowsy driving. 

8. Cause Of Life-Threatening Medical Conditions 

Lack of enough rest increases your risk of suffering from serious medical conditions. Such conditions from sleep deprivation and burnout include: 

·         Heart disease 
·         Diabetes 
·         High blood pressure 
·         Stroke 

Lack of sleep increases CRP or C-reactive protein levels, which are proteins produced when you’re stressed. A high CRP level is a risk factor for heart disease. Moreover, if you’re sleep-deprived, your heart rate, instead of fluctuating normally, stays elevated, which isn’t good for your heart. 

Insufficient sleep also increases your body’s insulin resistance. When your body cells don’t use insulin as required, then your blood sugar levels build up. High blood sugar results in diabetes and other life-threatening diseases such as heart and kidney failure. 

A lack of sleep also causes changes in your hormones that regulate stress and metabolism, leading to a rise in your blood pressure levels. High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for stroke. Sleep deprivation also causes the buildup of plaque in your arteries which can result in a mini-stroke. 

Conclusion

In closing, sleep deprivation definitely negatively impacts your health and work output. The best way to ensure you get enough sleep is to improve your sleep patterns. Hopefully, now you’ll strive to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep daily if you want to continue enjoying good health and productivity at work. Rest up or burn out!

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