How does poor sleep affect your body & mind?
Does tossing and turning at night sound familiar? Poor sleep is a common issue that affects many of us; 50-70 million American's to be exact. But do you know how much it really affects your daily life? Not getting enough quality sleep can have negative impacts on your physical and mental well-being.
In this blog post, we'll discuss the various symptoms of poor sleep and how it affects your overall health. So, get comfortable, and let's get started.
What are the signs of a sleep-deprived person?
Lack of sleep can cause a lot of symptoms, such as:
- Tiredness and fatigue: Feeling fatigued and drained during the day is a typical symptom of insufficient sleep.
- Poor memory and ability to focus: Sleep deprivation can also impact your ability to focus, remember important information, and decision-making.
- Mood swings and irritation: People who frequently get insufficient sleep often experience anxiety, distress, and mental confusion.
- Weak immune system: Chronic sleep deprivation can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness.
- Increased appetite: Poor sleep has been linked to an increase in appetite, particularly for high-calorie, sugary foods.
With knowledge comes power. When you can recognize the symptoms of lack of sleep, you can then make changes or seek help to maintain physical and mental well-being.
How does poor sleep affect your overall body?
Poor sleep directly impacts hormones and metabolism, leading to increased hunger, food cravings, less physical activity, poor dietary habits, and changes in metabolism that can cause weight gain. Sleep deprivation causes an imbalance of hormones like leptin (which causes fullness) and ghrelin (which causes hunger), which results in weight gain.
The stress hormone cortisol also tends to increase with poor sleep, which can end up causing fat storage. Prioritize healthy sleep practices like maintaining a regular sleep schedule and cutting back on screen time before bed to avoid these symptoms.
2. Diabetes and Impaired Glucose Tolerance
Poor sleep could lead to diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance by compromising insulin resistance and glucose breakdown. Insufficient sleep promotes insulin sensitivity, making it more challenging for the body to control blood sugar levels effectively.
Furthermore, insufficient sleep can disturb the hormones that control glucose production, resulting in low glucose resistance and a high chance of diabetes.
3. Cardiovascular Issues
Lack of sleep causes high blood pressure, pulse rate, and hormones such as cortisol, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Along with these other potential factors for heart problems, inadequate sleep can result in infection, abnormalities in insulin sensitivity, and obesity.
Sleep deprivation can have a detrimental effect on mood. Lack of sleep can leave you feeling irritable, experiencing depressive episodes, and having trouble controlling your emotions. Additionally, it may escalate levels of stress and anxiety, making it harder to handle the responsibilities of daily life.
According to this study on sleep duration and cause of mortality, lack of sleep may interfere with how the immune system functions, which might increase infection and a person's vulnerability to illness. Additionally, insufficient sleep can harm one's health and quality of life and prevent the body's ability to heal after an accident or disease.
6. Hormonal abnormalities
Sleep deprivation can affect hormone balances such as cortisol and testosterone. Furthermore, insufficient sleep can adversely impact the generation of reproductive hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, which are important in balancing the menstrual cycle and ovulation.
Furthermore, poor sleep has been linked to decreased testosterone levels in men, which can result in decreased sexual desire and erectile dysfunction.
When someone does not receive sufficient sleep, the body produces stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which could cause high blood pressure. Poor sleep can also result in additional health issues including obesity, diabetes mellitus, and infection, which are all serious health conditions that come with hypertension.
8. Mental Health
Sleep is important for controlling the emotional state of the brain centers that are involved. When a person does not get sufficient sleep, it can disturb the balance of neurotransmitters, like serotonin and dopamine that regulate mood, hunger, and circadian rhythm.
Persistent sleep deprivation can also elevate cortisol levels, which can cause anxiety and depressive symptoms. Moreover, poor sleep might disturb the functionality of the amygdala, a portion of the brain that receives impulses and helps in controlling emotions.
Poor sleep can lead to a multitude of health problems including obesity, cardiovascular issues, hormonal imbalances, and psychiatric disorders. To ensure overall well-being, it's crucial to prioritize good sleep habits and maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
If you are worried about your sleep - your first step should always be to speak to your medical practitioner for advice.