11 Surprising Lack of Sleep Side Effects You Must Know

lack of sleep side effects

Working for long hours into the night is quite common among workaholics and students. A late night once in a while is not much of a matter of concern, but if we continue it for longer period of time then it poses a threat to our health, both mental and physical. Sleep is very important for us. Here we will highlight some of the common problems that come with lack of sleep.

11 Shocking Lack of Sleep Side Effects

1. Weakens Immune System

Without proper sleep the body is unable to keep up to its normal defense system. The immune system produces substances like cytokines and antibodies. They fight foreign substances and keep troubling bacteria and viruses in check. They are best renewed when we sleep. Lack of sleep slows down their growth rate. If you have a habit of forgoing your sleep you are more likely to fall sick.

2. Weakens Respiratory System

This is a viceversa case. Lack of sleep worsens your sleep apnea and can lead to worse conditions like chronic lung illness. On the other hand obstructive sleep apnea interrupts your sleep and you suffer from it.

3. Diabetes

A higher level of insulin is released after food intake if you are suffering sleep deprivation. This increases the fat storage capacity of the body thus increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

4. Depression

This is another viseversa relationship. Various studies have shown that sleep deprivation often leads to depression. It alters the functioning of the neurotransmitters of the brain, which leads to depression. Alternatively depression also leads to sleep deprivation.

5. Weight Gain

Lack of sleep produces a hormone ghrelin that stimulates hunger and suppresses the production of leptin that suppresses the feeling. A 2004 study published in PLoS Medicine showed that lack of sleep leads to obesity.

6. Fatigue

Intense fatigue is a very common side effect of sleep deprivation. The outcome of it is very dangerous. Driving under such conditions has the same effect as being drunk. You become more susceptible to accidents, injuries, work accidents etc…

7. Affects Skin

Lack of sleep gives your skin a worn out look and wrinkles appears on the skin. It makes you look older as the body does not get ample time to repair damaged cells hence taking a toll on the skin and appearance.

8. Lack of Coordination

The muscles lack the normal levels of energy if you are sleep deprived. Your eyelids become heavier during the day as the muscles controlling eye movement falter. You lack in precision tasks. Common symptoms are tripping, banging into things, trouble climbing stairs etc…

9. Memory Loss

Lack of sleep reduces your ability to remember something or even make new ones. You tend to forget important things easily. You will notice that if you have not slept properly for a few days you will start misplacing important things that you never did before. DJ Peter Tripp, in the year 1659 had kept himself awake to collect money for the March of Dimes, however, by the completion of 100 hours he had forgotten all the alphabets.

10. Hallucination

Hallucinations are common when you plan to stay awake for long periods of time. The above mentioned Peter Tripp began hallucinating at the 120 hour mark.  He began imagining that his shoes were full of spiders. As serotonin is not produced, the mind tends to get tired and play tricks and can cause severe mental illness.

11. Food Cravings

Lack of sleep lowers the leptin production in the body. This suppresses your unnecessary hunger pangs. On the contrary, ghrelin which is an appetite stimulant is discharged at a higher rate and you tend to feel hungry unnecessarily. You will find yourself craving for sugary and fatty food.

Sleeping is a very important part of your daily routine. You need to sleep as much as you need to eat and breathe. It helps to rest your brain, heal your body and rejuvenate it. If you are suffering from chronic sleep deprivation then consult your doctor at once.

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