This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep
Just like our phones need to recharge at the end of the day, our body needs a good night’s rest to reset to face another day. But what happens when you don’t get enough sleep to let your body recharge?
Sleep is important not only for our body to rest but also for our mind to calm down. The precious shut-eye we manage to get each night can help improve our immune system, strengthen our cognitive abilities, and improve the quality of our life.
But how much sleep do we need? According to the National Sleep Foundation, an adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep each night, teenagers need at least 8-10 hours of sleep, and toddlers need 11-14 hours of sleep, on average.
When you don’t sleep, your body slows down and the stages of sleep deprivation begin to manifest. Not getting enough sleep can also increase your risk of getting cancer, diabetes, and even fatal accidents.
Let’s take a deeper look into what happens when you don’t get enough sleep.
What Happens to Your Body When You Don’t Sleep:
1. Weak Immune System
Our immune system is the defense that shields us from infections and diseases. But when you don’t sleep, your shield aka your immune system becomes weak. When you don’t get enough sleep, your immune system is unable to fight, causing you to fall sick more frequently. And if you’re sick, lack of sleep can make it harder for you to recover.
2. Respiratory Problems
Our respiratory system also depends on our sleep quality, however, some respiratory problems can get in the way of our sleep. Poor sleep quality or sleep deprivation can make you more prone to respiratory problems and infections such as the common cold and the flu.
3. Risk Of Heart Diseases
Not only less sleep but more than enough sleep can increase the risk of getting heart diseases and poor cardio health. Poor sleep or skipping sleep can also increase the risk of cancer, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions.
4. Poor Thinking
Missing a few hours of sleep can cause cognitive decline. When you skip sleep, you increase the risk of developing poor decision-making skills, poor reasoning skills, and absentmindedness.
Now when your mind doesn’t get enough rest or a good night’s sleep, you might experience forgetfulness, poor memory, and other cognitive problems. Sleep helps you process information and events of the day but when you don’t sleep, you lose the ability to store information in your brain.
6. Poor Weight Management
Lack of sleep also impacts the production of hormones that control our hunger. Poor sleep or not enough sleep can increase the production of ghrelin, the hormone that boosts your appetite, causing late-night hunger. So when you don’t get enough sleep, you increase the risk of weight gain, obesity, and even diabetes.
7. Hormonal Imbalance
Sleep not only affects your body but can also mess with your hormones. Poor sleep can cause hormonal imbalance. For example, low melatonin levels can worsen your existing depression, anxiety, and can cause disorientation, confusion, and irritability.
8. Mood Disorders
Did you know the reason for your crankiness might be the lack of sleep? Not catching enough Zzzz’s can take a toll on your emotional state and make you prone to mood swings and mood disorders. Severe sleep deprivation can also cause hallucinations and paranoia.
9. Poor Quality Of Life
Poor sleep or not getting enough sleep can also cause you to experience less enjoyment in daily activities, cause conflict with others, and can make you feel more tired than usual. So when you don’t sleep well, you are not only causing your body harm but your mind and overall wellness as well.
10. More Skin Problems
In a study, it was found that people with poor sleep habits developed more skin problems. When you don’t sleep well, it increases the risk of developing wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and dark circles. Not getting enough sleep is not just bad for your mind and body but also your skin.
Sleep Is More Than Just A Beauty Rest…
Lack of sleep can cause your body (and mind) to shut down and increase the risk of physical, emotional, and mental health disorders. Catching some Zzzz’s is not just about getting the rest your body and mind need after a long day.
If you find your sleep cycle suffering, you can try to:
- Maintain a regular sleep-wake schedule (even on weekends)
- Avoid eating or drinking meals and beverages high in spice or sugar
- Avoid long naps during the day
- Exercise but not too late in the evening
- Avoid consuming alcohol and caffeine in the evening
- Avoid using your phones or other digital devices an hour before bed
- Maintain a regular bedtime ritual (sleep meditation, warm bath, etc)
If you’re still facing trouble catching the right amount of Zzzz’s, then it can be a sign of underlying sleep disorders or chronic fatigue. In such cases, it’s recommended that you speak to a sleep specialist.
I hope with this article, I was able to help you understand what happens when you don’t get enough sleep not only to your mind but to your body as well.
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Sleep well and take care!