Surprising Effects Of Sleep Deprivation

young man confused memoryIf you’re anything like most Americans, then you probably get around six hours of sleep each night. Although most of us can just gulp down a cup of coffee and go about our day, there are a handful of health issues that come along with being sleep deprived. We’re talking lower life expectancy and greater risks for heart disease and type 2 diabetes, but that’s not even the half of it! Read on to learn more about how sleep deprivation takes a toll on your overall well-being.

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1. Weight gain

Do you ever notice how when you’re tired, you tend to reach for salty potato chips, sweets and other junk foods? That’s because lack of sleep affects the hormones ghrelin and leptin, which are responsible for regulating hunger and stimulating your appetite.

2. Low libido

Listen up ladies and gents! Not getting enough sleep negatively affects your sex drive. If that’s not a good enough reason to get more sleep, then we don’t know what is!

3. Weaker immune system

People who get little to no sleep are more likely to get sick due to the effect it has on their immune systems. When your sleep deprived, your body cannot produce the antibodies it needs to ward off colds, flu and other viruses.

 4. Aging skin

 We all know about dark circles under the eyes, and in most cases, a little concealer will do the trick, but here’s something you might not know: When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol, which breaks down your skin’s collagen. And when that happens, you’re left with sagging skin. Not a good look!

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5. Memory loss

A recent study conducted by the University of California, Berkley found that there’s a strong link between sleep deprivation and memory loss. UC Berkeley sleep researcher, Matthew Walker, said in a statement:

What we have discovered is a dysfunctional pathway that helps explain the relationship between brain deterioration, sleep disruption and memory loss as we get older and with that, a potentially new treatment avenue. When we are young, we have deep sleep that helps the brain store and retain new facts and information. But as we get older, the quality of our sleep deteriorates and prevents those memories from being saved by the brain at night.

Beyond getting enough sleep, it’s important to get quality sleep. “By getting a good quantity of sleep, which is typically seven to eight hours, and by getting high quality sleep, which is uninterrupted sleep, sleep can really benefit you in myriad ways,” says BDO Fitness Expert, Sloan Luckie.