Unless you have a roof damage, you do not have to struggle with sleep deprivation. Unfortunately for millions of people, poor sleep is a constant problem they have to deal with. You have also probably dealt with sleep deprivation from time to time. Sleep problems are occasioned by many issues chief among them stress. It is easy to ignore sleep deprivation, but it can have adverse effects on your health and productivity.
Here are some of the primary effects of poor sleep.
1. Central Nervous System
This is your body’s information highway and sleep is central to its functioning. The brain forms new pathways and rests the busy neurons while you are asleep. The brain also releases new growth hormones while you are asleep. During sleep, your body will also produce proteins which help the cells repair damage. Sleep deprivation will, therefore, limit these duties. That is why you are left feeling sluggish. You will be unable to learn new things or concentrate. Your decision making, creativity, memory, and emotions will also be affected by the lack of sleep.
2. Immune System
Your body produces infection-fighting antibodies and cells and protective cytokines while you are sleeping. These are important when fighting viruses and bacteria. Sleep also gives your body energy which is vital when fighting against illness. Sleep deprivation makes it hard for your immune system to prepare for an attack. This means it will be incredibly difficult to deal with a bacteria or virus attack and it will take longer than normal to recover from an illness. Long-term sleep problems can trigger the development of a chronic disease like cardiovascular diseases.
3. Respiratory System
As we have established, sleep problems can affect your immune system. As a result, the respiratory system will become more vulnerable to problems. Poor sleep will increase your chances of getting common cold and influenza. Those with chronic lung disease will make their situation worse with sleep deprivation.
4. Digestive System
Studies have linked weight problems to a lack of sleep. Experts say lack of sleep will lead to overeating to give the body energy to keep going. If you don’t exercise enough, this can cause obesity. Lack of enough sleep lowers leptin, a hormone that prevents us from overeating while raising the levels of ghrelin, an appetite stimulant. It also increases cortisol production, a stress hormone. Sleep deprivation will also increase insulin levels after eating thus promoting fat storage. This can lead to type 2 diabetes.
5. Cardiovascular System
The digestive system problems caused by a lack of sleep can cause problems to your cardiovascular system too. As we all know, weight problems can lead to heart problems. Sleep deprivation can increase your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Lack of sleep can lead to many health problems in the long-term. It will also affect your productivity in the short-term as well as the long-term. Simple efforts like yoga and meditation can help you deal with sleep deprivation. The point is to unplug from the past and the future and focus on the present to lower your stress and anxiety level. That will calm you and boost your sleep quality.