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5 Dangerous Things That Happen To Your Body When You Are Sleep Deprived

March 28th, 2018

The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get 7-9 hours of sleep while teenagers get 8-10 hours. Walking through life a zombie due to lack of sleep can be detrimental to your physical, social, and mental well-being. Discover what side effects could appear if you don’t get in your full 8 hours.

Extra Pounds

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Flickr/Mason Masteka Source: Flickr/Mason Masteka

There have been many studies that show a link between weight gain and insufficient sleep. Those who get less than 6 hours of sleep per night may have a higher body mass index than those who sleep at least 8. This is due to the fact that while we sleep, our bodies produce hormones that help to regulate appetite, energy, metabolism, and glucose processing.

Not getting enough sleep will upset the balance of these hormones. For example, the hormone called leptin, which tells the brain when to put down the food, will not be at the proper level which can lead to food cravings during the day. This will allow you to possibly eat more than you need. And the foods we crave will typically be sugary ones that give an energy boost that doesn’t exactly make up for the hours of sleep that were lost.

Heart Disease

Another problem that could result from inadequate sleep is hypertension, which can cause someone to have elevated blood pressure the day after not getting enough rest. The result: you may be putting yourself at additional risks for heart disease and stroke.

Decreased Immunity

Getting enough sleep each night is crucial to being able to fight off illnesses. Sleep provides your body the ability to get rest and when you do get sick, to fight the illness faster.

Depression

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Flickr/Michael Summers Source: Flickr/Michael Summers

Not getting enough sleep can also contribute to depression. Many people who get less than 6 hours of sleep per night end up being diagnosed with depression or anxiety. Insomnia, or the inability to sleep, has been linked to depression. Getting a better night’s sleep can help improve some of the symptoms of depression.

Get to Sleep with These Tips:

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Flickr/Elizabeth Source: Flickr/Elizabeth

Being able to “catch up on sleep” is a myth. Sleeping too much can also have negative side effects. The simplest solution to sleep deprivation is to make sure you are getting the recommended hours of sleep.

  • Have a long drive? Make sure you take a break every few hours if you’re on a road trip or have someone else drive. Never drive when you are feeling fatigued. Drowsy driving causes about 1 million accidents per year in the U.S.
  • Can’t get to sleep? De-tech and sit in a quiet, dark room. Some people find it helpful to read before they go to sleep as well.
  • Avoid taking naps during the day as this may make it harder to fall asleep at night.
  • Create a schedule where you go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time in the mornings. Try not to sleep in too much on the weekends.

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Sources: [Harvard Medical School, Medical News Today, National Sleep Foundation, National Sleep Foundation, National Sleep Foundation, WebMD]

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