Effects of Sleep Deprivation on the Body Effects of Sleep Deprivation on the Body

the Effects of
Sleep Deprivation
on the Body

Sleep deprivation can cause damage to your body in the short term. Over time, it can lead to chronic health problems and negatively impact your quality of life.

Inadequate sleep raises your risk of accidental injury and death from all causes. Read more.

Without plenty of rest, your brain is unable to rest and renew, leaving you ill-prepared to face the day. Read more.

It’s normal to yawn, but if you’re yawning excessively, maybe you aren’t getting enough sleep. Read more.

When you’re sleep deprived, it’s hard to concentrate. Your creativity and problem-solving skills deteriorate. Read more.

Your memory for recent happenings may suffer, and even long-term memories may be difficult to access. Read more.

Sleep deprivation can make you moody, emotional, and quick to anger. Read more.

If you go long enough without sleep, you may begin to have hallucinations. Read more.

The long-term effects of sleep deprivation include anxiety, depression, and even thoughts of suicide. Read more.

If you are seriously sleep deprived, you might fall asleep for short periods without even knowing it. That can be very dangerous if you’re behind the wheel of a car. Read more.

Lack of sleep can make you groggy and affect your balance and coordination, making you more prone to injury due to accident. Read more.

Your immune system isn’t working at full capacity, so you’re more likely to become ill when exposed to bacteria and viruses. Read more.

Lack of sleep weakens your defenses against viruses like the common cold and influenza. Read more.

Lack of sleep can actually increase your appetite, and your brain may not get the message that you’ve had enough to eat. Read more.

Lack of sleep affects the amount of insulin released after you eat, increasing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Read more.

If you have hypertension, a single night without adequate sleep can elevate your blood pressure for a whole day. Read more.

Sleep deprivation can lead to chronic cardiovascular problems like hypertension and heart disease. Read more.

Accidental Death
Memory Problems
Micro Sleep
Weakened Immune Response
Weight Gain
High Blood Pressure
Impaired Brain Activity
Cognitive Dysfunction
Accident Prone
Cold and Flu
Type 2 Diabetes
Heart Disease

Effects of Sleep Deprivation on the Body

You need sleep as much as you need to breathe and eat. While you’re sleeping, your body is busy tending to your physical and mental health and getting you ready for another day.

In children and adolescents, hormones that promote growth are released during sleep. These hormones help build muscle mass, as well as make repairs to cells and tissues. Sleep is vital to development during puberty.

When you’re deprived of sleep, your brain can’t function properly, affecting your cognitive abilities and emotional state. If it continues long enough, it can lower your body’s defenses, putting you at risk of developing chronic illness. The more obvious signs of sleep deprivation are excessive sleepiness, yawning, and irritability. Chronic sleep deprivation can interfere with balance, coordination, and decision-making abilities. You’re at risk falling asleep during the day, even if you fight it. Stimulants like caffeine are not able to override your body’s profound need for sleep.

When you’re sleep deprived, the effects of alcohol consumption are magnified, as is your risk of being involved in an accident. According to Harvard Medical School, studies show that sleeping less than five hours a night increases the risk of death from all causes by about 15 percent. Sleep deprivation is dangerous to your mental and physical health and can dramatically lower your quality of life.

Central Nervous System

Your central nervous system is the information highway of your body. Sleep is necessary to keep it functioning properly. During sleep, the brain rests busy neurons and forms new pathways so you’re ready to face the world in the morning. In children and young adults, the brain releases growth hormones during sleep. While you’re sleeping, your body is also producing proteins that help cells repair damage.

Sleep deprivation leaves the brain exhausted, so it can’t perform its duties well. The most obvious effect is sleepiness. You may find yourself yawning a lot and feeling sluggish. Lack of sleep interferes with your ability to concentrate and learn new things. It can negatively impact both short-term and long-term memory. It gets in the way of your decision-making process and stifles creativity. Your emotions are also affected, making you more likely to have a short temper and mood swings. Overall cognitive function is impaired.

If sleep deprivation continues long enough, you’re at increased risk of hallucinations, especially if you have narcolepsy or systemic lupus erythematosis. Lack of sleep can trigger mania in people who have manic depression. Other risks include impulsive behavior, depression, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts.

A side effect of sleep deprivation is micro sleep. That’s when you’re asleep for only a few seconds or a few minutes, but you don’t realize it. If you’re sleep deprived, micro sleep is out of your control and can be extremely dangerous if you’re driving. It can also make you more prone to injury due to trips and falls. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, insufficient sleep has played a part in tragic accidents involving airplanes, ships, and even nuclear reactor meltdowns.

Immune System

When you’re sleeping, your immune system produces protective cytokines and infection-fighting antibodies and cells. It uses these tools to fight off foreign substances like bacteria and viruses. These cytokines and other protective substances also help you sleep, giving the immune system more energy to defend against illness.

Sleep deprivation means your immune system doesn’t have a chance to build up its forces. According to the Mayo Clinic, studies show that if you don’t get enough sleep, it’s more likely that your body won’t be able to fend off invaders. It may also take you longer to recover from illness. Long-term sleep deprivation raises your risk of developing chronic illnesses like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Respiratory System

Since sleep deprivation can weaken your immune system, you’re more vulnerable to respiratory problems like the common cold and influenza. If you already have a chronic lung disease, sleep deprivation is likely to make it worse.

Digestive System

According to Harvard Medical School, a few studies have found a link between lack of sleep and weight gain. Along with eating too much and not exercising, sleep deprivation is one of the risk factors for obesity.

Sleep deprivation increases production of the stress hormone cortisol. Lack of sleep lowers your levels of a hormone called leptin, which tells your brain that you’ve had enough to eat. In addition, it raises levels of a biochemical called ghrelin, which is an appetite stimulant.

Sleep deprivation prompts your body to release higher levels of insulin after you eat, promoting fat storage and increasing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Cardiovascular System

Since you’re more likely to gain weight if you’re chronically sleep deprived, you’re also at increased risk of problems with your cardiovascular system.

Sleep plays a vital role in your body’s ability to heal and repair your blood vessels and heart. Sleep deprivation can lead to higher risk of chronic health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. According to Harvard Medical School, for people with hypertension, one night without enough sleep can cause elevated blood pressure all through the next day.