The Surprising Effects of Sleep Deprivation


Stress, everyday problems, bad eating habits and other factors can affect your sleep. It may surprise you to find out that sleep deprivation affects every system in your body, from digestion and metabolism to mental function. Over time, it can lead to chronic health problems and increase your risk of early death, cognitive dysfunction, memory decline, heart disease, weight gain, and depression.

What Happens If You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?

The latest research indicates that losing just half an hour of sleep can affect body weight and metabolism longterm. A recent study conducted on 522 patients with type II diabetes has found that those who had weekday sleep debt were 72 percent more likely to become obese compared to those who had enough sleep. Other studies revealed that the risk of insulin resistance may increase by up to 39 percent for every 30 minutes of weekday sleep debt.

Lack of sleep can interfere with your ability to lose weight and elevate your blood pressure for a whole day. It also affects the amounts of insulin released after you eat, which raises diabetes risk. At the same time, it weakens you defenses against viruses and increases your odds of accidental injury and death from all causes.

How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

The average adult sleeps six or seven hours per night, which is a recipe for disaster. According to health experts, most people need seven and a half to nine hours of sleep per night to function properly. If you fall asleep while reading or watching TV, need to nap to get through the day, or have a hard time waking up in the morning, chances are you’re sleep deprived.

Even though sleep requirements vary from one person to another, aim for at least eight hours of sleep per night. Once you take this step, your overall health will improve significantly. In just a few weeks, you’ll feel refreshed, have more energy, and look younger.



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