How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect the Body?
Sleep is needed for your body to maintain good health.
During sleep, our bodies and brain can repair, restore and reenergize. But what are the effects of sleep deprivation?
Studies have found that insufficient sleep can increase a person’s risk of developing chronic diseases, like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
The review of several studies on people who slept less than 8 hours regularly showed that they were much more likely to have excess body weight than those that slept 8 hours or more.
Another study showed that babies that didn’t get enough sleep or slept for short periods were at risk of developing obesity later in childhood. Studies had shown that people with insufficient sleep had increased hunger for foods that were higher in carbohydrates, fat, and calories.
You would think that the longer you were up you would have more activity and reduce caloric intake. However, studies have shown that little to no additional activity is added. But being up longer gives your body more time to add calories. Less activity and increased calorie intake puts you at a higher risk of obesity. Other effects of poor sleep include increased fat storage in the belly area, higher body mass index, poorer quality diet, and decreased insulin sensitivity. Although there have been many studies, there is still no conclusive decision that sleep deprivation affects all people the same way.
So, how does it contribute to type 2 diabetes?
Not getting enough sleep can alter insulin resistance, associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Getting less than 5 hours per night was reported at even higher risk. They also found that improved sleep could positively influence blood sugar control and reduce type 2 diabetes.
What is the connection between sleep deprivation and cardiovascular?
There is growing evidence that loss of sleep even a few hours increased cardiovascular disease risk, including hypertension, stroke, coronary disease, and irregular heartbeat. Studies showed that women that slept less than 6 hours a night were 20% – 32% more likely to hypertension, and less than 5 hours put them at an even higher risk.
These are just some of the most common effects of loss of sleep, but it also affects your immune function by decreasing your ability to resist infection. It puts you at higher risk of developing the common cold. People that slept less than 7 hours a night were three times more likely to develop cold symptoms.
So, in order to maintain a healthy body make sure to get your 8 hours of sleep per night or at least 7 hours.