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5 Ways Lack Of Sleep Can Impact Your Health

By Henry Flores

What happens if you don’t get enough sleep

We have been taught that sleep is vital to living a healthy life. But can sleep really be that important? As a matter of fact, sleep is imperative to your health. 

  1. Loss of sleep causes health problems.

If you go for continuous prolonged amounts of time without sleep, then you are more likely to develop serious health problems. These health conditions include health complications such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

When you get an adequate amount of sleep, your immune system releases a protein called cytokine. One way in which  Cytokines are used  is to help control the growth and activity of our immune system cells. When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies don’t produce enough cytokines. This leads  our immune system to become more fatigued and weakened thus we struggle to fight off infections. 

When you get an adequate amount of sleep, your immune system releases a protein called cytokine. One way in which cytokines are used is to help control the growth and activity of our immune system cells. When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies don’t produce enough cytokines. This leads our immune system to become fatigued and weakened, making it harder to fight off infections. 

  1. Loss of sleep leads to a lowered sex drive and fertility level. 

Men and women who don’t get adequate sleep often have lower libidos. This is due to a depletion in energy. This depletion of energy can cause you to feel more irritable with your significant other, causing tension. 

Men, who suffer from sleep apnea in particular, tend to have a lower testosterone level which affects their libido. A study that was published in a medical journal in 2002 backed this claim by reporting that almost half of the men surveyed who suffered with sleep apnea produced low levels of testosterone at night.

Some women have claimed that they struggle to conceive when they are sleep deprived. This can be due to the reduction of the secretion of reproductive hormones. Conception may be difficult for those that are sleep deprived because of the stress that their body is under as well.

  1. A lack of sleep lowers your mental health. 

Sleep loss over a prolonged amount of time stirs up symptoms of depression. Depression in turn can make it difficult to fall asleep. The relationship between the two is cyclical. Insomnia has been found to be one of the first symptoms of depression. 

In addition to depression, a lack of sleep can increase feelings of irritability and anxiety. These feelings can make it hard to progress in your day-to-day life. 

  1. A lack of sleep makes you look older. 

Many people who have received inadequate sleep have noticed that the next day their skin looks sallow and their eyes are puffy. These are not the only effects that a lack of sleep has on your skin. Sleep loss can cause fine lines to appear, dark circles to appear under your eyes, and your skin to take on a lackluster appearance. 

This deterioration of your skin’s appearance is because of a hormone that is released called cortisol. Cortisol is released when your body experiences stress and it can break down your skin’s collagen in excess amounts. 

In addition, a lack of sleep reduces the rate at which growth hormones are released. These hormones are needed to repair your muscles and tissue. Your tissue takes on a certain amount of damage throughout the day, and while you’re asleep your body works to repair the damage. 

  1. Loss of sleep can cause you to gain weight.

You may begin to gain more weight if you sleep less than seven hours a day because you have less of the chemical that makes you feel full and more of the hunger-stimulating hormone. A 2004 study reported that people who slept six hours or less were 30% more likely to be obese, when compared to those who slept seven hours or more. 

A loss of sleep also appears to stimulate cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods. This means that your body wants to eat more doughnuts and pasta and less carrots. Which, while being yummy, is not good for your health. 

How to help your health through sleep

As we have found out, sleep is important to the workings of every part of our health and body. There are some ways that you can help ensure that your body is getting the sleep that it needs to be healthy. Some tips to obtaining a restful sleep are:

  • Keep a consistent sleep schedule: This means waking up and going to be at the same time each day on weekends and weekdays. This may be a struggle but it will help you sleep better. 
  • Put away electronics: Looking at your phone, computer, or television close to bedtime can cause your mind to keep working. This means you are unable to achieve that state of relaxation that you need in order to fall asleep. Try putting electronics away at least an hour before bed. 
  • Have downtime: Do some relaxing activities before bed in order to wind down from the day, including activities such as a warm bath or reading a relaxing book. Add this to your nightly routine so that it helps to cue your body as to when it is time to sleep. 
  • Avoid daytime naps: Not napping throughout the day allows your body to be totally exhausted by the time it is night. In addition, it helps to keep your internal clock on schedule. 

If you struggle to sleep deeply and regularly then you may need to talk to someone. Talking with your doctor or with a sleep consultant or sleep coach can help you to find a way to achieve the sleep that your body needs to be healthy. 

How can we help

Here at Sleepably, we understand that you need sleep in order to be healthy. We believe that everyone deserves a full night’s rest. At Sleepably we have sleep coaches for adults. Our coaches work to create a sleep training plan for adults. We talk about your sleep concerns and develop a plan to help you sleep better consistently.

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