This Is What Happens to Your Body When You Don't Get Enough Sleep

This Is What Happens to Your Body When You Don't Get Enough Sleep

Getting adequate sleep is crucial to the functioning of nearly every system in you body. Lack of sleep and lack of good quality sleep can have a negative impact on your health. Not falling asleep or staying asleep long enough or getting poor quality sleep can have a major effect on how you feel and function day to day.

Headache and neurology specialist Dr. Ravinder Singh, specializes in sleep disorders and can diagnose your sleep problems and recommend the best solution. Here are just some of the ways inadequate sleep negatively impacts your health. 

Weight creeps up

Inadequate sleep is linked to weight gain. People who sleep less than six hours per night on a regular basis are significantly more likely to have a higher body mass index (BMI) than those who sleep eight hours a night.

Sleep is recognized as a risk factor for obesity, alongside a lack of physical activity and overeating.

During sleep, your body secretes hormones that aid in the regulation of appetite, energy metabolism, and glucose metabolism, among other things. When you get too little sleep, it throws off the balance of these and other hormones.

When you don't get enough sleep, your body responds by increasing the production of cortisol, which is commonly referred to as the "stress hormone." Poor sleep is also associated with increased insulin secretion after a meal.

Higher insulin levels are linked to weight gain. Additionally, reduced levels of leptin, a hormone that alerts the brain that it has had enough food, as well as higher levels of ghrelin, a biochemical that stimulates appetite, are also associated with insufficient sleep. 

Blood glucose rises

Because insufficient sleep affects how well the body processes glucose, the high-energy carbohydrate that cells use for fuel, it raises the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Going from getting eight hours of sleep to inadequate sleep causes the body to process glucose more slowly — by as much as 40%. This sets the stage for problems with glucose regulation and causes blood sugar to rise, raising the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

The risk of heart disease goes up 

In people who already have high blood pressure, even a single night of insufficient sleep can cause blood pressure to remain elevated throughout the following day. This may explain the link between poor sleep and cardiovascular disease. Sleeping too little (less than six hours) or too much (more than nine hours) increases the likelihood of developing coronary heart disease.

Mood takes a dive

Since one sleepless night can leave people feeling irritable and depressed the following day, it’s understandable that chronic insufficient sleep may take a toll on your mental health. Lack of adequate sleep is linked to an increased risk of depression and anxiety.

The immune system weakens

The immune system relies on adequate sleep to function optimally, fight off invaders, and keep you healthy. Lack of good sleep weakens the immune system and compromises its ability to combat infections.

Life span shortens

It should come as no surprise that inadequate sleep is associated with a shorter life expectancy when you consider the numerous negative health consequences of insufficient sleep. Sleeping five hours or fewer per night increases the risk of death from all causes by approximately 15%, according to studies

Lack of sleep causes both short-term and long-term negative health consequences. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, whether you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, it’s time to see a sleep specialist about it. 

We’re committed to helping you find solutions and restore your sleep. Call our office in Beverly Hills, California, to schedule a visit or use our convenient online booking form.

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