8 Physical Effects Of Sleep Deprivation

By: Sneha A
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Proper sleep is as important to the human body as eating or breathing, but unfortunately, not everybody realise its importance.

In our busy schedules, if there is one thing that we can easily cut back to provide ample time to our daily duties is nothing but sleep.

Lack of sufficient hours of sleep even for one single day can result in higher irritability, inability to properly concentrate on the work and learning as well as retaining new information.

But, this is all short termed, if a human body is devoid of adequate hours of sleeping for a longer duration, the consequences are a lot graver than simple mood swings or lack of focus.

It does not only affect your personal relationships and professional commitments, but it also takes a toll on your physical health to a great level, as you may suffer from some serious neurological, psychological or cardiovascular diseases in the future.

Hence, you have to understand that the resulting effect of sleep deprivation is not just short termed but long termed as well.

People often compromise on their sleeping hours for the sake of work, studies, or simply for partying and having fun; but what we do not realize is that this kind of a lifestyle is simply inviting more chronic health problems into our systems.

During our sleep, our body gets a chance to listen to its physical and mental needs. By staying awake for long hours, we restrict it from healing itself. Therefore, here are 8 physical effects of sleep deprivation that you must read on.



Exhausts The Brain

The first thing that lack of adequate sleep does is exhaust the brain by not allowing the neurons to get some rest and performing the damage repair and ultimately impairing the cognitive functions.


Impacts Our Mental State:

Lack of sleep negatively impacts not only the moods but also the long-term and short-term memory of people. It curbs the creative instincts, kills the ability to take quick and smart decisions and causes the person to have frequent mood swings and be short tempered for no reason.


Leads To Neurological Disorders:

Sleep deprivation not only causes emotional disorders, but in graver situations, it leads to some serious psychological and neurological diseases as well. These include mania, hallucinations, chronic depression, paranoia and an extremely impulsive behaviour.


Causes Obesity:

Among the 8 physical effects of sleep deprivation, a very common one is obesity. It causes reduction in the level of the hormone ‘Leptin', which actually lets the brain know that one's hunger is satiated; and to add on, it increases the production of the ‘Ghrelin' hormone, which actually enhances the appetite.

Also, sleep deprivation leads to an increase in the level of insulin, thus resulting in more fat storage.


Leads To Hypertension And BP

Now that you gain weight and also the body is unable to heal itself, problems associated with cardiovascular system start to develop. High blood pressure, diabetes, etc, are some of the examples.


Reduces Immunity

During the sleep, a human body strengthens its immune system by producing more antibodies and cytokines. This allows you to build a strong wall against the invading bacteria and viruses. But lack of sleep can reduce immunity.


Makes One More Prone To Diseases:

As the immunity reduces due to lack of sleep, the human body becomes more vulnerable to many diseases and infections, especially the respiratory system. Problems like cold and flu arise very frequently and in serious cases, sleep deprivation can lead to serious lung problems.


Increases The Stress Hormone Production:

Sleep deprivation also increases the production of the stress hormone 'Cortisol' leading to some chronic health issues.

Read more about: sleep
Story first published: Sunday, March 6, 2016, 13:05 [IST]
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