We are a society that burns the midnight oil due to our ever demanding lifestyle. As we try to fit more activities and chores in our daily life, we often steal time from sleep. The human body needs sleep, just as the way it needs air and food to function properly.
During sleep, the body heals itself then restores its chemical balance. The brain forges some new connections that helps with memory retention. Without sleep, we risk the brain and body system from functioning properly, which can dramatically lower the quality of life.
Affects the Central Nervous System
The immediate effects of depriving ourselves sleep are obvious. People get unfocused, foggy and sluggish. The central nervous system is the information highway of the body. Sleep is critical to keep the nervous system functioning properly. Chronic insomnia may disrupt the way the body sends information.
While at sleep, pathways form between the neurons and the brain that help you to remember information you have learned. When you deprive yourself sleep, you leave the brain exhausted such that it can’t perform its duties properly. This leads to decreasing coordination skills and you increase the risks of accidents.
Sleep deprivation also has adverse effects on your mental abilities and emotional state. You may feel more impatient and prone to mood swings. You can also experience compromised decision making and creativity. Adverse effects of depriving yourself sleep leads to impulsive behavior, depression suicidal thoughts and paranoia.
Effects on Immune System
When you sleep, the immune system produces protective substance calls cytokines that help in fighting infections. These are substance that help in fighting invaders such as viruses and bacteria. If you deprive yourself sleep, you make your immune system weak because it doesn’t have time to produce cytokines. Your body will find it hard to fight invaders and won’t be able to recover from illness. You equally risk chronic illness such as heart diseases and diabetes.
Effects on Digestive System
Sleep deprivation is equally a risk factor for being overweight and obesity. Sleep affects the level of leptin and ghrelin hormones which are responsible for controlling the feelings of hunger and fullness. Without enough sleep, your brain suffers reduced leptin, which then makes your body want to eat more.
When you deprive yourself of sleep, the body is prompted to release higher levels of insulin, which is responsible for controlling sugar levels. Higher insulin in the body promotes fat storage and equally increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Effects on Respiratory System
There is a relationship between sleep and respiratory system. During the night, a breathing disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea may affect your sleep and lower its quality. When you wake up during the night, it may lead to sleep deprivation which leaves the victim to be more vulnerable to common respiratory infections such as cold and flu.