Sleep deprivation is a serious problem, especially if it is ongoing. The immediate effects of lack of sleep are obvious and most people have experienced them at one time or another. These include being groggy, sluggish, unfocused and headaches. People will many times become overly emotional and easily angered. These symptoms can be remedied with a solid night’s sleep. However, there are underlying effects of lack of sleep that if left unresolved, can have serious consequences to your health.
Lack of Sleep – Bad Effects
Physicians have determined that adults need an average of seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Getting too little sleep, six hours or less per night can be serious to your health. Here are 8 bad effects of lack of sleep.
#1 Stroke Risk is Increased
Shortened sleep cycles have been proven to increase a person’s risk of having a stroke. Adults are four times more likely to have a stroke when they continually get six hours of less hours of sleep each night. Stroke symptoms can be mild and cause very little damage to the person, or they can be massive and cause severe debilitating problems for the person and can even lead to death.
#2 Obesity Becomes Reality
The brain is a tricky organ and when it lacks sleep, you will start craving junk food and will eat larger portions. Food choices and food intake are huge contributors to the obesity influx that has been occurring around the globe. Hormonal changes begin to take place within the body causing you to store more and more fat. While you may eat healthy foods, you will eat larger portions. Exercising will not necessarily combat the extra calories that are being consumed.
#3 Memory Loss
When you are tired, you tend to be more forgetful. People who are perpetually tired will experience severe problems with retaining things that they hear and read. It has been proven that the less sleep we get, the less we will benefit from the memory-storing properties of a deep sleep. Brain deterioration is a very real side-effect of lack of sleep.
#4 Risk of Diabetes
There is a link between insulin resistance and poor sleep. Insulin resistance is a risk factor of diabetes. This means that the body is not using insulin effectively. When you are lacking sleep over a long period of time, your body begins to fight itself and cause severe problems.
#5 Bone Damage
Long-term lack of sleep can be a contributing factor to osteoporosis. There are significant changes to the bone mineral density and bone marrow of those who continually suffer from sleep deprivation.
#6 Cancer Risk is Increased
As more and more studies are being conducted on various cancers and their contributing factors a small link has been found between the development of cancer and ongoing sleep deprivation. Those people who normally had six hours or fewer of sleep per night are at a higher risk than those who get seven hours and more per night.
#7 Heart Disease Risk
Your body is put under a large strain when you continually lack sleep. This stresses your body’s systems and this includes the heart. It is a muscle and it needs the time that your body is in deep sleep to slow down and rest. When you do not give it the rest it needs, then you are at risk of developing heart disease.
#8 Pre-Mature Death
People who are continually sleep deprived are more likely to die pre-maturely than those who are able to continually get seven or more hours of sleep each night.
If you are in the habit of only getting six or fewer hours of sleep, you need to change your routine so your body does not turn on itself and attack. Sleep helps the body to recover from the stresses of the day and by not giving it the time needed to reboot, you are increases your chances of developing a serious illness.