What Are The Side Effects Of Lack Of Sleep – Medically Reviewed by Nick Villalobos, MD – Stephanie Watson and Kristeen Cherney – Updated January 16, 2024

Insufficient sleep weakens your mental abilities and endangers your physical health. Science has linked poor sleep to a number of health problems, from weight gain to a weakened immune system.

What Are The Side Effects Of Lack Of Sleep

What Are The Side Effects Of Lack Of Sleep

If you’ve ever spent a night tossing and turning, you already know how you feel the next day—tired, awkward, and weird. But missing out on the recommended 7-9 hours of shut-eye will leave you feeling bored and grumpy.

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Read on to learn about the causes of sleep deprivation and how it affects certain body functions and systems.

Your central nervous system is your body’s most important information channel. Sleep is necessary for it to function properly, but chronic insomnia can interfere with how your body normally sends and processes information.

During sleep, pathways are formed between the nerve cells (neurons) in your brain that help you remember the new information you learn. Lack of sleep makes your brain tired, so it can’t perform its tasks as well.

You may also find it harder to concentrate or learn new things. The signals sent by your body can also be delayed, reducing your coordination and increasing your risk of accidents.

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Lack of sleep also negatively affects your mental abilities and emotional state. You may feel impatient or more prone to mood swings. It can also compromise decision-making processes and creativity.

If the sleep deprivation continues long enough, you may experience hallucinations—seeing or hearing things that aren’t really there. Lack of sleep can also trigger mania in people with bipolar disorder.

You may also end up experiencing microsleeps during the day. During these episodes, you fall asleep for a few seconds without realizing it.

What Are The Side Effects Of Lack Of Sleep

The microwave is out of your control and can be very dangerous if you are driving. It can also make you more prone to injury if you use heavy machinery at work and have a microsleep cycle.

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While you sleep, your immune system produces protective, infection-fighting substances such as antibodies and cytokines. It uses these substances to fight off foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses.

Certain cytokines also help you fall asleep, allowing your immune system to better defend your body against disease.

Lack of sleep prevents your immune system from building up its strength. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body may not be able to fight off invaders, and it may also take longer to recover from an illness.

The relationship between sleep and the respiratory system goes both ways. A nocturnal breathing disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can interrupt your sleep and reduce the quality of your sleep.

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When you’re up all night, this can cause sleep deprivation, making you more susceptible to respiratory infections like colds and flu. Lack of sleep can also worsen existing respiratory conditions, such as chronic lung disease.

Along with eating too much and not exercising, lack of sleep is another risk factor for overweight and obesity. Sleep affects the levels of two hormones, leptin and ghrelin, which regulate feelings of hunger and satiety.

Leptin tells your brain that you have eaten enough. Without enough sleep, the brain reduces leptin and increases ghrelin, a substance that stimulates appetite. The flow of these hormones can explain a late-night snack or why someone might overeat later in the night.

What Are The Side Effects Of Lack Of Sleep

Lack of sleep can also make you feel too tired to exercise. Over time, reduced physical activity can cause you to gain weight because you are not burning enough calories and not building muscle mass.

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Lack of sleep also causes your body to release less insulin after eating. Insulin helps lower blood sugar (glucose).

Lack of sleep also lowers the body’s glucose tolerance and is associated with insulin resistance. These disorders can lead to diabetes mellitus and obesity.

Sleep affects the processes that keep your heart and blood vessels healthy, including those that affect your blood sugar, blood pressure, and inflammation levels. It also plays an important role in your body’s ability to heal and repair your blood vessels and heart.

People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to get cardiovascular disease. One analysis linked insomnia to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

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Hormone production depends on sleep. To produce testosterone, you need at least 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep, which is about the same as the first R.E.M. period. Being up all night can affect hormone production.

This interruption can also affect the production of growth hormone, especially in children and adolescents. These hormones help the body build muscle mass and repair cells and tissues in addition to other growth functions.

The pituitary gland releases growth hormone every day, but adequate sleep and exercise also promote the release of this hormone.

What Are The Side Effects Of Lack Of Sleep

In short, sleep deprivation is caused by a continuous lack of sleep or a decrease in the quality of sleep. Getting less than 7 hours of regular sleep can eventually lead to health consequences that affect the entire body. This may also be due to an underlying sleep disorder.

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Your body needs sleep, just like it needs air and food to function at its best. During sleep, your body heals itself and restores its chemical balance. Your brain forms new thought connections and helps with memory retention.

Without enough sleep, your brain and body systems will not function optimally. It can also dramatically reduce your quality of life.

Stimulants like caffeine are not enough to override your body’s deep need for sleep. In fact, these can make sleep deprivation worse by making it harder to fall asleep at night.

This, in turn, can lead to a cycle of sleeplessness at night, followed by daytime caffeine consumption to combat the fatigue caused by making up for lost hours.

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Behind the scenes, chronic lack of sleep can disrupt your body’s internal systems and cause more than the initial signs and symptoms listed above.

The simplest form of sleep deprivation treatment is a sufficient amount of sleep, typically 7-9 hours every night.

This is often easier said than done, especially if you’ve been deprived of precious shut-eye for several weeks or more. After this, you may need help from your doctor or a sleep specialist, who can diagnose and treat any sleep disorder if necessary.

What Are The Side Effects Of Lack Of Sleep

Sleep disorders can make it difficult to get quality sleep at night. They can also increase your risk of the aforementioned effects of sleep deprivation on the body.

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To diagnose these conditions, your doctor may order a sleep study. This is traditionally done in an official sleep center, but now there are options for measuring sleep quality at home as well.

If you have been diagnosed with a sleep disorder, you may be given medication or a device to keep your airway open at night (in the case of obstructive sleep apnea) to combat the disorder so that you can get a better night’s sleep regularly. basis.

The best way to prevent sleep deprivation is to ensure adequate sleep. Follow the recommended guidelines for your age group, which is 7 to 9 hours for most adults ages 18 to 64.

If you still have trouble sleeping at night and struggle with daytime fatigue, talk to your doctor. They can test for underlying health conditions that may be interfering with your sleep schedule.

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In the long term, chronic sleep deprivation can negatively affect your heart health and metabolism.

Shows that long-term insomnia may be associated with a higher chance of obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancers.

Lack of sleep can lead to cognitive challenges. Cognitive refers to thinking processes related to learning, remembering, planning and interpreting information.

What Are The Side Effects Of Lack Of Sleep

The 5 stages of sleep deprivation refer to how much time you go without sleeping. After each stage, more negative side effects start to appear. Times are:

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Our experts are constantly monitoring the state of health and well-being, and we update articles when new information becomes available. Sleep deprivation is when you don’t sleep enough or when you don’t get good quality sleep. When it is severe or continues over a long period of time, it can cause very disturbing symptoms that interfere with even the most routine activities. Long-term insomnia can worsen many major health problems. This condition is usually treatable.

Sleep deprivation is when a person does not sleep enough. This can be a short-term problem that affects one or a few nights, or it can be a chronic concern that lasts for weeks or even months. Sleep deprivation can be caused by a myriad of reasons, many of which are harmless, but it is also a key symptom of certain health conditions.

Sleep is something everyone needs, and most people need the same amount depending on their age. The amount also changes with age. However, some people need more sleep to feel well-rested, while others need less, but these exceptions are not common. A change in your sleep pattern,

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