The Dangers of Lack of Sleep: How It Can Ruin Your Health


Short on sleep? You’re not alone. A whopping one in three American adults reports that they get less than the recommended amount of sleep on a regular basis especially if they have to wake up for an early morning alarm. And in recent years, alarming research studies have started to show just how detrimental a lack of sleep can be for your health. Sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, depression, and even death, so it’s worth getting a little more shut-eye!

Don’t stay up too late watching your favorite TV show or reading just one more article. Put down that smartphone and head off to bed! It’ll do wonders for your overall well-being. Lack of sleep is associated with a number of serious health problems and some of the most worrisome are cancer, obesity, and heart disease.

How Much Sleep Do We Need?

The majority of us require around 7-8 hours of sleep to be able to function at a high level. However, some require more, while others need to have less. The most important thing is to discover the amount of sleep you require and then strive to achieve it.

In general, when you wake up tired and then spend the entire day waiting to sleep most likely, you’re not sleeping enough. Many factors can lead to poor sleep and health issues like sleep apnoea. However, in the majority of instances, it’s because of poor sleeping habits.

What Happens If I’m Not Sleeping?

Everybody has experienced tiredness, short temper and loss of focus that typically result from a bad night’s sleep. A few nights without sleep causes you to feel exhausted and uneasy the next day, but it’s not going to affect your overall health.

After a few nights of sleepless nights, the mental effects get more severe. The brain becomes sluggish and it becomes difficult to make decisions and concentrate. It’s possible that you’ll feel tired and could be unable to sleep throughout the daytime. Your chance of getting injured and accidents at work, at home and on the road rises.

Cognition: Sleep deprivation can affect your body’s neurotransmitters, which ultimately can impact your mood. Researchers have found that sleep debt can lead to an increase in stress hormones like cortisol, which can lead to anxiety and depression.

Heart disease: An increase in heart rate, an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and other problems are linked with lack of sleepĀ  all of which increase the risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack or stroke.

Diabetes: Sleep loss can increase your risk for diabetes in several ways. It raises blood glucose levels due to changes in your circadian rhythms; it lowers the level of good cholesterol and increases the secretion of stress hormones like cortisol, which can all increase the risk for developing diabetes.

Weight gain: Chronic sleep loss has been linked with a disruption of your body’s metabolism and can actually make you feel hungrier, especially for high-carbohydrate foods. In fact, the research shows that people who consistently get less than six hours of sleep a night eat more calories overall and have higher BMIs than people who regularly get seven to nine hours of sleep.

Good Night’s Sleep Can Benefit Your Well-Being:


Sleeping improves your immune system

If you’re prone to getting every flu and cold that’s in the air, your sleeping time may be at fault. Sleep deprivation can affect your immune system, which means you’re less capable of fighting off illness.

The amount of sleep you get can make you slimmer.

If you sleep less, you could gain pounds! Research has shown that those who sleep less than seven hours per day are more likely to gain weight and are at a greater chance of becoming overweight than those who sleep seven hours of sleep.

It’s believed that people who are sleep deprived have lower amounts of the hormone leptin (the chemical that causes you to feel full) and higher levels of Ghrelin (the appetite-inducing hormone). Melatonin can regulate our sleep cycle.

Sleep boosts mental wellbeing

If one night of sleeplessness can leave you unhappy and depressed the next day, it’s no surprise that prolonged sleep deprivation can result in long-term mood problems such as clinical depression and generalized anxiety disorder among adults.

If people suffering from depression or anxiety were surveyed to assess their sleeping patterns it was found that the majority of them sleep for less than six hours per night.

Sleep prevents diabetes

Research suggests that those who typically rest for less than five hours each night are at an increased chance of becoming diabetic.

It is believed that a lack of deep sleep can result in Type 2 Diabetes through a change in how the body processes glucose, which our body utilizes for energy.

Sleeping boosts the sex drive

The women and men who do not have enough quality sleep suffer a diminution in sexual desire (reduced sexual desire) and less of an interest in sexual activity studies suggest.

Men suffering from sleep apnoea which is a condition where breathing issues lead to sleep interruptions also are more likely to have lower levels of testosterone that can decrease the amount of libido.


If you’re struggling to get enough sleep, there’s just one option to make up for it: getting more rest. It’s unlikely to happen with one night of sleep. If you’ve been suffering for months with restless sleep, you’ll have accrued a substantial sleep debt, and expect the process to be a long time.

Beginning on the weekend, you should make sure you get an additional hour or two of sleep each night. The best way to achieve this is to sleep at a time when you’re tired, and then let your body get up early in the dawn. It is possible to sleep for up to 10 hours initially. After some time you will notice that the time you sleep will decrease gradually to a more normal amount.

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