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How Sleep Deprivation Affects Health

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In today’s modern era where we are all running against time, we barely have time to stop and rest. Getting a good night’s sleep is like a dream. From ages we hear from our elders and even doctors to get 7-8 hours of sleep plays an important role in maintaining good health. However, sleep is as vital in maintaining good health as diet and exercise. Good and sound sleep helps you to stay focused and enhance your brain performance, mood and health.

A regular lack of sleep raises the risk of several diseases. These vary from heart disorders, stroke, dementia and obesity. Other health issues have also been related to insufficient sleep, which is a significant risk factor. Most experts have concluded that receiving enough good-quality sleep may be as crucial to health and well-being as proper nutrition and exercise, even though scientists have only recently begun to link insufficient sleep to disease.

Medical Conditions associated with Sleep Deprivation:

Determining the risk of not getting enough sleep is complicated. The disease progresses slowly and is usually associated with multiple risk factors. What we do know is that getting less than about eight hours of regular sleep per night appears to increase the risk of developing many medical conditions. Evidence shows that even just a few hours less sleep can have a dramatic impact on your health.

Obesity –

Some studies link sleep deprivation and weight gain. For example, one study found that people who regularly slept less than 6 hours a night were much more likely to be overweight, while those who slept an average of 8 hours a night had a relatively Another study found that “short sleep” babies were more likely to become obese later in childhood than those who got the recommended amount of sleep.


Studies have shown that people who report getting less than 5 hours of sleep per night are at a significantly higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes or the effects of type 2 diabetes.

Cardiovascular disease and hypertension

Recent studies have shown that even a modest reduction in sleep (6-7 hours per night) is associated with future myocardial infarction (heart attack) and sleep deprivation due to obstructive sleep apnea. There is also increasing evidence linking it to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure, stroke, coronary artery disease, and arrhythmias.

Immune function –

The interplay between sleep and the immune system is well documented. Sleep deprivation elevates the levels of many inflammatory mediators, and infections affect the amount and pattern of sleep.

Not surprisingly, these potential adverse health effects can translate into increased healthcare costs and reduced productivity. More importantly, not getting enough sleep can ultimately affect life expectancy and everyday health. An analysis of data from three separate studies found that sleeping 5 hours or less per night can increase the risk of death by up to 15%.

sleep deprivation

Good Sleep is Essential to Good Health

Even if getting enough sleep is not a guarantee for good health, it helps support the maintenance of several essential processes. Giving cells and tissues a chance to heal from the effects of regular wear and tear may rank among the most crucial of these tasks. Sleep is almost entirely required for the body’s major restorative processes, including protein synthesis, muscular growth, and tissue repair.

From researching what occurs when people and other animals are deprived of the sleep they require, researchers have drawn several interesting findings about the function sleep play in preserving health. For instance, researchers have found that a lack of sleep can affect hormone levels, which can affect functions including metabolism, hunger control, and stress response. Several studies may eventually help us understand how getting too little sleep raises the chance of contracting diseases.

Benefits of Getting Good Night Sleep

Sleep. We all wish we had more. However, it still is. Therefore. Hard to get. And while yawning and feeling constantly tired can be a disappointment, lack of zzz can really take a toll on your health. Experts say you should aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

  • Sleep Can Boost Your Immune System
  • Gaining Zzz’s Can Help Prevent Weight Gain
  • Sleep Can Strengthen Your Heart
  • Better Sleep = Better Mood
  • Sleeping Can Increase Productivity
  • Sleep Can Increase Exercise Performance
  • Sleep Improves Memory

Advice on getting a healthy sleep

  • Be coherent. Go to bed at same time and wake up every day, even on weekends.
  • Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing and at a comfortable temperature
  • Remove electronic devices, such as televisions, computers and smartphones, from the bedroom.
  • Avoid large meals, caffeine and alcohol before bed.
  • Do exercise. Physical activity during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.
  • Medical Help if needed.

End Note

  • It can be appealing to sacrifice sleep in exchange for a few valuable hours of wakefulness, but it’s crucial to weigh the risks. Sleep is also valuable.
  • Insufficient sleep raises a person’s risk of significant medical disorders like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, according to numerous research.
  • Over time, a shorter lifespan has been linked to chronic sleep deprivation.


  1. Spiegel K, et al. Brief Communication: Sleep Curtailment in Healthy Young Men Is Associated with Decreased Leptin Levels, Elevated Ghrelin Levels, and Increased Hunger and Appetite, Annals of Internal Medicine. 2004 Dec 7; 141(11): 846-850.
  2. Spiegel K, et al. Impact of Sleep Debt on Metabolic and Endocrine Function, Lancet. 1999 Oct 23: 354(9188): 1435-9.
  3. Meier-Ewert HK, et al. Effect of Sleep Loss on C-reactive Protein, an Inflammatory Marker of Cardiovascular Risk, J Am Coll Cardiol. 2004 Feb 18; 43(4): 678-83.

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