Five Ways Sleep Affects Overall Health

Jun 20, 2017 | Health & Fitness | 21 comments

Lack of sleep can cause serious health problem in the long run. 

It’s true that adults don’t need as much sleep as kids, but there’s still a minimum amount of sleep required for your body to function properly. Lack of sleep has all sorts of negative effects on your overall health. Check out these five things a lack of sleep can do.

You’re More Likely to Make Mistakes

When you’re tired, you don’t perform as well at work, you’re more likely to get in an accident, and your memory isn’t as sharp. That’s because your brain didn’t have enough time to rest and process all the information it received during the day. During your sleep cycle, your brain clears out unnecessary synapses to make room for new ones. This isn’t an optional function — all living things must sleep to give their brains time to rest and organize.

Your Skin Ages Faster

Lack of sleep also leads your body to release more cortisol, a hormone that breaks down skin collagen. Without healthy collagen, your skin loses its elasticity and smoothness. That’s why people who frequently don’t get enough sleep get a sallow look and appear older. They can also get dark circles and bags under their eyes. Growth hormone is released while you sleep, which is necessary for repairing damaged skin and tissue. That’s why you look your best when you’re well-rested.

You Are at an Increased Risk for Heart Attacks and Strokes

A recent study by the World Health Organization suggests that people who don’t get enough sleep are 2.6 times more likely to have a heart attack than those who sleep a full seven to nine hours at night. The risk of stroke is even higher. This is because heart disease is caused by high blood pressure, a common side effect of not getting enough sleep. People who don’t get enough sleep also tend to be overweight or have other underlying diseases, such as Type II diabetes and insulin resistance, which can complicate heart disease further.

You Can Fall Into Depression More Easily

Depression affects millions of people each year, and it’s sometimes triggered by a lack of sleep. Insomnia is often the first sign. That’s why it’s so important for people who are prone to mood disorders to get enough sleep at night. If you’re depressed, it’s harder to get things done and your overall quality of life is negatively impacted. You need to find a way to get more sleep, whether that means adjusting the temperature in your home for sleep or seeing a doctor to find the reason for your insomnia.

You’re More Likely to Overeat

The hormones that regulate your appetite go into effect while you sleep. That’s why you don’t get hungry while you’re asleep. If you’re not getting enough sleep, this can lead to an increased appetite, which can then lead to obesity. Plus, the more time you’re awake, the more time there is to eat.
There are all sorts of ways to improve your sleep. It helps to exercise regularly, eat well, eliminate stress, and avoid caffeine and other stimulants before going to bed. You should also see your doctor if you’re suffering from a chronic condition that is affecting your sleep. Sleep is important to your overall health, so you should do what you can to ensure you get enough.

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  1. Blair Villanueva

    The amount of energy that we acquired after a good sleep is unbeatable, compared to drinking caffeine or energy drinks just to have that energy. You won't feel cranky.

  2. Cassie Spanner

    I can definitely attest to overeating when tired. I'm always more likely to run for the junk food too! I just can't function without a good sleep

  3. Parenting Patch

    I cannot functionally to my fullest potential when I do not get enough sleep. I get groggy and grumpy and unable to focus. Sleep is SO important!

  4. Fashion Beyond Forty

    Everything you said is SO true! We NEED good sleep for good health! Love this!

  5. Heather Jones

    Oh I really need to not let my sleep deprivation continue. I don't want those dark circles! Hopefully I will start to sleep better soon!

  6. Jen Temcio

    I was getting poor sleep and decided to go see a doctor for it. Now I am sleeping well and it is true that my health has improved and I am not eating late at night.

  7. Mom Knows Best

    I never thought about skin health and sleep. I need to start going to bed earlier

  8. Sarah-Louise Bailey

    Agree of this post. Not getting enough sleep has all sorts of negative effects on your overall health

  9. Echo A

    Wow! I knew that not sleeping enough had negative effects, but I had no idea about a few of these. Thank you so much for sharing them.

  10. Jennifer EngineerMommy

    Getting enough high-quality rest every night is so important. With two young kids, it can be tough to get enough zzzzs at night, but I try to do my best.

  11. The Belly Rules The Mind

    All of those reasons are so true. A good night's sleep is so important to function the next day.

  12. Aimee Geroux

    Sleep is such an important part of our overall health. I personally LOVE sleep so I have never really had any sleep related health issues but this is a great post for those who are not getting the proper sleep.

  13. Ashley Blom

    My husband cannot fall asleep lately. I hope he will be okay with all of these things to deal with… Can you do a followup on how to sleep better?

  14. duffelbagspouse travels

    So true, you do overeat and get confused easily if you don't get enough rest. I find that I enjoy my day so much more with a good nights sleep, water and exercise… it the triad of a healthy life.

  15. Anonymous

    Wow! This is a great post. I did not know sleep affected your body in so many different ways.

  16. Miss Pineapple

    It is so important to get a good nights rest every night. I went for a very long time without a good night sleep, I didn't realize just how much it was affecting me until I changed a few of my pre-bedtime habits.

  17. Emily Morton

    I think many people really overlook how large of an effect sleep has on the rest of your body. Great info!

  18. Hey Sharonoox

    I totally agree! Lack of sleep could certainly affect how we function. I need my beauty sleep of 8-9 hrs every night.

  19. Lalia Frolick

    Thank you for giving me all of these things to worry about due to my regular (or should I say: constant) lack of sleep ;). But it's complete involuntary! I'm hoping my children become more solid sleepers soon so that we can all get a better night's rest—on a regular basis.

  20. Hairstyles

    Thanks a lot for the helpful article. It is also my opinion that mesothelioma has an incredibly long latency interval, which means that warning signs of the disease would possibly not emerge until 30 to 50 years after the initial exposure to mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma, that is the most common type and is affecting the area throughout the lungs, might cause shortness of breath, torso pains, plus a persistent coughing, which may bring on coughing up body.



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