How does sleep deprivation affects your health? Over a period of time the lack of sleep or constant interruption of sleep leads to a condition known as sleep deprivation, this condition can adversely affect our health, not only physical but also mentally.
The amount of sleep we require is 7 to 8 hours a night, this amount is good for our body as well as our mind. When we are sleep deprived things change like our mood for instance. Lack of sleep has been linked to mood changes and we become more erratic, irritable and get angry far more quickly and much more often. Our attention span is also affected as is our lack of concentration this may make things more difficult for us at work.
Mood changes also affect relationships as we become far more distant an sensitive as well as less hopeful and less friendly, this condition can also lead to short term memory loss and even depression, the list goes on as these symptoms are a only some of the effects this disorder can have on our mental ability to function normally.
Now your body also comes under attack as the lack of sleep has been linked to an increase in hypertension (high blood pressure) this is due to the fact, during sleep it is thought that your blood helps regulate stress hormones, so over time the lack of sleep could hinder our body’s ability to do it’s job, leading to an increase in blood pressure.
Studies have also shown people who sleep less than six hours a night were about twice as likely to have a stroke or heart attack as people who got eights hours of sleep a night. The reason for this is not yet quite understood, although researchers believe that sleeping too little can cause disruptions in underlying health conditions and processes like glucose metabolism, blood pressure, and inflammation.
One of the reasons we know lack of sleep affects the heart is in patients with sleep apnea, which causes them to wake frequently throughout the night these patients often have compromised heart health. Poor sleep may also be linked to Alzheimer’s, as well as diabetes and weight gain, in fact the more sleep deprived we are the higher the stress hormone cortisol, which increases the appetite, because we are tired you may be tempted to drink an extra coffee and maybe eat a cookie to increase your energy, or after work pick up takeout as you are to tired to cook – it’s a vicious cycle, when we don’t get enough sleep it causes low energy then you reach for comfort foods like potato chips or cookies, while this helps energy level it also increases our waistlines.
Sleep deprivation can cause death, sleep loss contributes to an increase in accidents and injuries because our judgement is hindered we may pushing ourselves to go that extra mile or so as our eyelids gradually start to close from lack of sleep, your reactions are slower and therefor your not as quick as you would normally be, consequently leading to injuries or possible death.