6 Potential Effects Sleep Deprivation has on your body

Sleep Deprivation and Its Effects

Have you ever heard overworked people say that work is killing them? Between the stress of commuting, limited time for exercise, and unhealthy eating habits, unhealthy work environments take a toll on everyone. Of course, this doesn’t apply to every job. Some jobs are more hazardous to your health than others. For example, when it comes to sleep deprivation, work that demands shifts or exceptionally high concentration levels are more likely to disrupt healthy sleep patterns.
Sleep deprivation is caused by a sustained lack of sleep or decreased quality of sleep. Putting in less than 7 hours of sleep regularly can eventually lead to detrimental health consequences that may affect your entire body and your mind. 

Your body requires sleep, just as it needs oxygen and food to function optimally. When you sleep, your body heals itself and recovers its chemical balance. In addition, it is during sleep that your brain can forge new thought connections and help memory retention.

Without adequate sleep, your brain and body systems simply can’t function normally. Unfortunately, it can also dramatically lower your quality of life.

Noticeable Signs of Sleep Deprivation Include:


While stimulants, such as caffeine, are great tools in the face of insufficient sleep, they aren’t enough to override your body’s intense need for sleep. In fact, these can make sleep deprivation worse by making it harder to even fall asleep at night. This, in turn, may lead to a vicious cycle of insomnia. That said, chronic sleep deprivation can and will meddle with your body’s internal systems and may cause more than just the initial indications and symptoms listed above.

6 Ways Lack of Sleep May Affect Your Health

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1. Mental Health

Sleep deprivation negatively affects your mental capabilities as well as your emotional state. For example, you may be more irritable or prone to mood swings. It can also obstruct cognitive processes and creativity. If this goes on long enough, you could start experiencing hallucinations — seeing or hearing things that are not there.
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Spruce | 6 Potential Effects Sleep Deprivation Has on Your Body 3

2. Immune System

Sleep deprivation hinders your immune system’s ability to build up its forces. So, if you don’t get enough sleep, your body may not be able to fight off foreign invaders, and it may also take you longer to recover from a disease or physical discomfort. Sustained sleep deprivation also raises your risk for chronic conditions, such as diabetes mellitus and heart disease.
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Spruce | 6 Potential Effects Sleep Deprivation Has on Your Body 5

3. Weight Management

Besides eating too much and not exercising enough, sleep deprivation is another risk factor for becoming dangerously overweight and obese. This is because sleep affects the levels of two hormones, leptin and ghrelin, which control feelings of hunger and fullness. A loss of sleep can also leave you feeling like you’re too tired to exercise.
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Spruce | 6 Potential Effects Sleep Deprivation Has on Your Body 7

4. Cardiovascular System

It’s no secret that sleep affects internal processes that keep your heart and blood vessels healthy, including those that affect your blood sugar, blood pressure, and inflammation levels. It also plays an essential role in your body’s ability to heal and repair the blood vessels and heart. People who don’t sleep enough are more likely to get cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes.
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Spruce | 6 Potential Effects Sleep Deprivation Has on Your Body 9

5. Respiratory System

The relationship between sleep and the respiratory system is interlinked. For instance, the nighttime breathing disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can disrupt your sleep and lower your sleep quality. As you toss and turn throughout the night, sleep deprivation can cause you to be more exposed to respiratory infections such as the common cold and flu. Sleep deprivation can also make respiratory diseases such as chronic lung illness worse.
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Spruce | 6 Potential Effects Sleep Deprivation Has on Your Body 11

6. Concentration

The relationship between sleep and the respiratory system is interlinked. For instance, the nighttime breathing disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can disrupt your sleep and lower your sleep quality. As you toss and turn throughout the night, sleep deprivation can cause you to be more exposed to respiratory infections such as the common cold and flu. Sleep deprivation can also make respiratory diseases such as chronic lung illness worse.
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The Bottom Line

If societal pressures keep you from getting the recommended seven hours of sleep per night or experiencing chronic fatigue at work or school, there is a solution for you out there. Don’t let a sustained lack of rest keep you from being your most productive self; make time for sleep!

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