By Daphne Rasehei – EMTV Online
Our brains and internal systems are extremely active during sleep. Without proper sleep, our cognitive functions would be impaired, our judgment skewed, and our immune systems weakened.
Here are harmful health risks brought on by sleep deprivation.
Risk #1: Weakened Brain Function
Sleep is critical for proper body functions and high-level cognitive functions.
When you sleep, the neurons in your central nervous system rest the active neurons, and your body uses the time to make proteins that help repair cell damage.
Sleep deprivation can stifle your creativity and decrease your ability to make effective decisions.
Risk #2: Weakened I’mune System
In addition to regenerating cells, sleep also aids your immune system in producing antibodies that help fight infections and diseases.
You use these powerful cells to destroy things like bacteria and viruses and to stave off illnesses.
Your immune system won’t have the opportunity to strengthen its walls if you’re constantly running on low energy.
Sleep deprivation can also contribute to developing risks involved with diabetes and heart disease.
Risk #3: High Blood Pressure
It’s highly likely that sleep deprivation contributes to high blood pressure. Those who sleep five hours or less may be at a higher risk for hypertension.
During sleep, your blood helps regulate the stress hormones in your body, as well as aids the nervous system to retain balance.
Sleep deprivation over time can damage your stress hormones and lead to higher blood pressure.
Risk #4: Weight Gain
Sleep deprivation may very likely lead to increases in hunger and appetite, as well as a risk of obesity.
Studies in the past have shown that people who regularly slept fewer than six hours a day were more than 30 per cent more likely to become obese in their lifetimes.
If you are sleep deprived, the peptides that usually regulate appetite in your body will become imbalanced.
Risk #5: Weakened Memory
Sleep deprivation can negatively affect both your short-term and long-term memory.
In addition to impairing your judgment, cognitive functions, and emotions, a lack of sleep can damage your memory and your ability to think clearly and process information.
Risk #6: Accidents and Injuries
When you’re sleep deprived, you do something called “micro sleep,” in which you dose off to sleep for a few seconds or minutes, but you don’t realize it.
That’s why it’s so dangerous to drive or do hazardous activities when you’re sleep deprived.
Risk #7: Irregular Heartbeat
Arrhythmias are a combination of conditions where the heartbeat is abnormal, too fast, or too slow.
They can be caused by many factors, including stress, stimulants, toxins, and lack of sleep.
Sleep deprivation and chronic sleep disorders can also lead to other conditions like heart disease, heart failure, and strokes.
Risk #8: Bad Skin
It’s normal for people to have puffy eyes and dull, pasty skin after suffering from a lack of sleep a few nights in a row.
But those with chronic sleep deprivation can experience a rather extreme change in appearance. They’ll see lacklustre skin, the development of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark circles under their eyes.
And it’s not hard to see why. When you’re sleep deprived, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. This can damage skin collagen, which is the protein that keeps your skin smooth and healthy.