Whether most of us realize or not, the fact is that the human body needs sleep just as much as it needs to breathe. Like all machinery, the human body is susceptible to wear and tear, which needs time to recuperate, both physically as well as mentally. That is why medical experts always urge you to tend to your body’s sleep requirements because sleep deprivation takes a toll on the human body. So, let’s have a better idea of how the lack of sleep affects your body functions.
Central Nervous System (CNS)
CNS or the Central Nervous System can be considered as the information super highway of your body. Sleep is essential for keeping it properly functioning, as the neurons get a rest while your body sleeps and your brain also forms new pathways to help you get ready for facing the world again every morning. Growth hormones are released optimally when a person is asleep, which are particularly needed by children and young adults. Your body also produces essential proteins to help damaged body cells get repaired. When sleep deprived, your brain gets exhausted and fatigued, unable to perform its functions well enough. Prolonged sleep deprivation also negatively impacts your short-term as well as long-term memory. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute verifies that sleep deprivation plays a significant role in some extremely tragic accidents involving locomotives, ships, airplanes or even the most horrific ones like nuclear reactor meltdowns.
Lack of sleep also affects your immune system, increasing your vulnerability to respiratory issues like the common cold, influenza and other such problems. If you already suffer from some sort of lung disease, lack of sleep is likely to worsen it further so you need to dig out the ways to get better sleep.
Sleep deprivation may also have a part in your constantly increasing weight, as Harvard Medical School reports of many studies that establish a significant link between weight gain and lack of sleep. Cortisol (also known as the stress hormone) is produced excessively when your body is sleep deprived, while lowering the production of another hormone known as leptin, which signals your brain that your body has had enough food. Not only that, it results in increased levels of ghrelin, a biochemical with appetite stimulating characteristics. To make it worse, your body releases insulin in higher levels after having meals when it doesn’t get enough sleep, which prompts fat storage, getting more susceptible to develop type 2 diabetes.
Your chances of falling prey to cardiovascular problems also increase when your body doesn’t get enough sleep because your heart and blood vessels will not get the repairing needed to function properly. Things can get even worse because chronic sleep deprivation also contributes in weight gain, which can worsen the problems like elevated blood pressure, stroke and other types of heart diseases. According to Harvard Medical School, one night of sleep deprivation for people suffering from hypertension can lead to high blood pressure all through the course of next day.
Getting enough sleep can help you stay away from countless health complications. There are many ways to get a better sleep, so you better resort to them if you want to live a happier and healthier life.
by John Smith