The Effects of Sleep Deprivation
If you’ve ever spent a few hours tossing and turning, and who hasn’t in their lifetime? You may feel ok in the morning to begin with or you may feel like you’ve been run over by a train, depending on the circumstances (perhaps you were up with a sick little one all night which is always exhausting) You may catch your third wind, but expect that after a few hours you will begin to feel tired, cranky and disoriented. When this is repeated night after night the small number of night hours are bound to wreck havoc on your brain and cause other side effects with your body. The long term effects of sleep deprivation are real. It drains your mental abilities and puts your physical health at real risk.
You may think that you can make up for it with a one-hour slumber, but the brain will react in just a few days.
If sleep deprivation continues long enough, you could start having hallucinations—seeing or hearing things that aren’t there. A lack of sleep can also trigger mania in people who have manic depression. Other psychological risks include:
- impulsive behavior
- suicidal thoughts
According to all previous findings, the best cognitive responses are people who slept 7-8 hours overnight, while others need even more.
Bottom line our brain needs to sleep enough hours to function at full capacity. Sleep deprivation prevents your immune system from building up its forces. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body may not be able to fend off invaders. It may also take you longer to recover from illness. Long-term sleep deprivation also increases your risk for chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.
If you sleep less than six hours overnight, your cognitive abilities are equivalent to a nine-year-old child.
Although you will still be able to complete your obligations, you will do so with reduced effectiveness.
Then, if the problem persists, a gastrointestinal disturbance may occur with an internal secretion, resulting in an imbalance in the secretion of serotonin, dopamine and cortisol.
That’s why you are softer than usual. Weight loss has actually been associated with a decent amount of sleep.
Sleep deprivation prompts your body to release higher levels of insulin after you eat. Insulin controls your blood sugar level. Higher insulin levels promote fat storage and increase your risk for type 2 diabetes.
Sleep Deprivation Affects the Body
Except for the brain, short interrupted sleep also affects the body.
This increases the risk of overweight, chronic illness, and even the risk of mortality in younger years.
Sleep also affects processes that keep your heart and blood vessels healthy, including your blood sugar, blood pressure, and inflammation levels. It also plays a vital role in your body’s ability to heal and repair the blood vessels and heart.
People who don’t sleep enough are more likely to get cardiovascular disease. One analysis published in the European Journal of Preventive Oncology linked insomnia to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Try to ensure that you get a decent 7-8 hours nightly. Sometimes this is easier said than done with a new baby in the picture. This is where family members, a nanny or doula or your partner can pitch in to help make sure the primary caretaker catches up on the rest they need.
If you’re suffering from sleep deprivation due to emotional or hormonal issues visit your therapist or doctor who can prescribe natural medications or perhaps talk therapy to keep your mind from keeping you awake in the evenings.