While you’re certainly aware of some of the consequences of not getting enough sleep, such as mental fog, you may not be aware that your sleeping patterns can have an affect on a variety of things, including how well your heart pumps blood and even your sexual drive.
W. Christopher Winter, MD, a board-certified sleep medicine researcher and author of The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How to Fix It, notes, “Most of the systems in our body are premised on some process of regeneration or requirement for sleep.” “Sleep is essential to our ability to think, function, and maintain our immune system. It has an impact on almost everything we need to live.”
So switch off your phone, close the curtains, and retire to your bed early tonight. If you don’t, these are some of the effects of not getting enough sleep on your body.
1. It may wreak havoc on your immune system.
Michael Awad, MD, chairman of sleep surgery at Northwestern Medicine and chief medical officer of Peak Sleep, says, “There’s a very strong correlation between sleep and the immune system in general.” “When it comes to sleep, the body restores almost every cell in the body.” The body’s ability to mount an immunological response is harmed by sleep loss.”
Enough Sleep deprivation can also reduce your immune system’s ability to combat tumour cells and cause inflammatory cytokines to be produced. These proteins are produced by the immune system and can lead to metabolic and cardiovascular problems.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a lack of sleep is connected to an increased risk of illness (CDC). According to a study published in JAMA, reducing a person’s sleep for six days, then sleeping 12 hours a night for seven days, can result in a larger than 50% reduction in the generation of antibodies to a flu vaccine. When you’re wiped out, your body just can’t mount the regular immune response.
2. It can increase your chances of developing heart disease.
People who slept less than six hours per night had a higher chance of getting heart disease than those who slept more than six hours per night, according to a study published in the European Heart Journal. In addition, sleeping irregularly—that is, not having a set bedtime and waking time—can increase your risk of a cardiovascular event, such as a stroke, congestive heart failure, or coronary heart disease.
“Your blood vessels lose the ability to expand and contract to regulate things to some extent when you are sleep deprived or have interrupted sleep. When people don’t get enough sleep, they’re more likely to develop high blood pressure, which is hard on the heart.
Enough Sleep deprivation can also increase cholesterol levels and general inflammation throughout your body, leading to the formation of plaque in the blood vessels. “When blood vessels start to form plaque, the heart has to work harder.
3. It has the potential to reduce your sexual desire.
According to Dr. Winter, there are numerous causes for this. “When you’re tired, your brain puts sleep ahead of other things,” he explains. Other molecules that are vital for sexual performance and arousal, such as oxytocin, can be diminished by sleep deprivation, according to Dr. Winters.
One study published in JAMA found that limiting 10 men’s sleep for a week resulted in a 15% reduction in testosterone levels in their bodies. (Testosterone is a hormone that can increase a person’s desire for sexual activity.) It’s also true in the other direction: People who obtained more sleep than usual were more likely to have sex the next day, according to another study published in JAMA. In other words, if you hit the hay earlier, you just might be up for a little something extra.
4.It can raise your chances of getting diabetes.
According to Dr. Awad, there is a definite link between lack of sleep and diabetes. According to him, this is related to your body’s capacity to manage insulin, a hormone generated in the pancreas that regulates blood sugar. “Lack of sleep diminishes pancreatic insulin production and reduces gluten tolerance,” explains Dr. Awad. “As a result, cells become less effective in using insulin, which can lead to diabetes.”
To be clear, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) does not list sleep deprivation as a cause of diabetes, but insulin resistance, which can be induced by a lack of sleep, is.
5.It might increase your chances of gaining weight.
This is due to a number of factors. One is that when individuals are weary, they “tend to make terrible food judgments,” according to Dr. Winter. People are also more sedentary and less prone to exercise when they are weary, which can contribute to weight gain, according to him.
People with sleep deprivation had lower levels of endocannabinoids, a chemical signal that affects hunger and the brain’s reward system, according to research published in the journal Sleep. The researchers also observed that when patients were sleep deprived, they ate more and unhealthier snacks in between meals, which coincided with their greatest endocannabinoid levels.