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7 serious effects of sleep deprivation

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Do you find yourself going through periods where you become sleep deprived?

Before long, you really do start to feel the effect it has on your body. If you’ve already experienced it, you’ll know that you really don’t feel like yourself and getting through the day can be more of a challenge.

In this blog post, we’re going to explore just what happens to your body when you miss sleep.

1. Fatigue

This is the most expected and most obvious effect.

Without sleep, your brain cannot function to its highest potential, therefore making every task, no matter how big or small, take way more out of you.

You’re likely to spend more of the hours that you’re supposed to be alert and performing at your best trying not to fall asleep at work or on your commutes – which can be dangerous!

2. Problems with memory

Sleep allows the brain to form important connections. These connections allow you to process and remember new information, aiding your development as a human being.

Losing sleep regularly will affect the way your brain processes these connections and struggle to create them at all.

Missing sleep too often can have a negative impact on short and long-term memory.

3. Serious mood swings

If you’ve ever had at least one really bad nights sleep, you’ve also probably had at least had one very cranky day.

Losing sleep increases the body’s level of cortisol, the main stress hormone. The more sleep you miss, the more you will develop.

So, naturally, as you become more tired you will become more stressed. This will put a serious strain on your mood.

4. Weakened immunity

If you do not get enough sleep, your body will struggle to protect you against cold and flu viruses that you are susceptible to. This is because your immune system’s defences are weakened.

You then become more exposed to these types of germs which doesn’t help to improve the way you’re already feeling!

5. Weight gain

A lack of sleep can lead to a lack of leptin in your system. Leptin is the hormone that makes you feel full. If you struggle to subside your cravings, you are likely to eat more. While you’re too tired to whip up something healthy, you will probably head for higher calorie, quick and easy junk food too.

If this effect lasts too long, you could start to pile on the pounds – especially if you’re too tired to carry out healthy activities that balance any of these foods out.

6. Low sex drive

Too little sleep can wreak serious havoc on your sex drive.

If you’re not getting the shut-eye you need, your testosterone levels can be affected which, in turn, can lead to reduced libido.

7. Heart disease

Sleep deficiency can cause hypertension.

As this causes an increase in blood pressure, your body is more at risk of things like heart attacks, irregular heartbeats and other heart-related illnesses.

According to the European Society of Cardiology, middle-aged men who sleep five hours or less per night are twice as likely to suffer from a “major cardiovascular event” during the next 20 years, in comparison to those who get the recommended seven to eight hours.

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