ENTITY shares five ways lack of sleep affects overall healthENTITY shares five ways lack of sleep affects health

Sometimes staying up ’til three in the morning to watch re-runs of “Friends” sounds like a good idea in the moment. You’re in your warm bed with a pint of Ben-N-Jerry’s watching Ross make a fool out of himself trying to impress Rachel — but before you know it’s six thirty in the morning, and the alarm keeps blasting its annoying buzzing sound. You struggle to get out of bed, and start to regret the lack of sleep you just got.

Dark undereye circles aren’t the only issue you should be concerned with.  Although one night of bad sleep won’t be detrimental to your health, a continuous habit of not getting enough hours of “zzZZZ” a night will. Lack of sleep can actually have several negative effects on your overall health. Here are five shocking ways a lack of sleep affects your body.

Lack of sleep and weight gain

ENTITY shares five effects lack of sleep has on your body

Not getting enough hours of sleep leaves the body craving any source of potential energy to make it through the day. Your body is left with higher levels of the hormone ghrelin, which plays a role in increasing your appetite. You’re also left with lower levels of leptin, a hormone that helps control your appetite. Essentially lack of sleep messes with your body’s cravings, especially for sweet, starchy and salty foods. It’s been reported that people who routinely sleep less than five hours a night have a 50 percent higher chance of becoming obese. 

If that’s not scary enough, sleep deprivation also increases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. How? Well, with insufficient sleep your body starts to pump out greater levels of insulin with every meal, and this can have an effect on your overall blood sugar levels.

Hallucinations

ENTITY shares five effects lack of sleep has on your body

If you’re sitting at your desk at work and start to see the keys on your keyboard misaligned, or perhaps you look out the window and see a palm tree — but you work in the middle of downtown Chicago, then you’re most likely hallucinating. Standford researchers note that over 80 percent of sleep-deprived people hallucinate at one point or another during the day. Lack of sleep affects our visual perceptions, leading us to imagine things that aren’t really there even if for just a few moments. However, these hallucinations might be more common for people who have a history of psychosis.

Some people even risk a negative shift in their overall mental health. Insufficient sleep can lead to depression, impulsivity and suicidal thoughts.

Heart disease

ENTITY shares five effects lack of sleep has on your body

Perhaps the scariest effect lack of sleep can have is on overall cardiovascular health.  As mentioned previously a lack of sleep can lead to obesity down the road, and obesity plays a role in heart health.  Higher levels of stress hormones are produced from a lack of a good night’s rest, and this can cause heart inflammation. People who don’t get enough hours of sleep are also at risk of having higher blood pressure.

Low libido

ENTITY shares five effects lack of sleep has on your body

Adults who routinely get less than six hours of sleep at night can see a serious change in their overall sex drive. Men and women alike can experience lower levels of testosterone, which manages sex drive AKA libido. Also, not getting at least seven hours of sleep at night can lead to fatigue and low energy, which play a role in a person’s sex drive.

Immune system

ENTITY shares five effects lack of sleep has on your body

Absolutely no one likes being sick. Sneezing, sniffling, coughing, fatigue, YIKES no thanks! However, people who sleep less are more likely to get sick or have longer recovery times from illnesses like the common cold. The body needs adequate rest to fight off infection, and not getting enough sleep can decrease the production of your body’s defense proteins. These proteins, called cytokines, are beneficial at fighting off infection and inflammation and dealing with stress.

So, the best bet? Leave late-night Netflix binges to a minimum or for the rare occasion. Remember these health effects are seen most often after a pattern of insufficient sleep, so don’t panic if you pull an all-nighter just once! If you have trouble falling asleep at night, check out ENTITY’s recommended apps for getting a good night’s rest here.

Edited by Kylie Anderson

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