If you’re not sleeping well, you can’t just hide away from it. It affects you all day long in one way or another. You need a solution. When you first start having sleep problems you’ll probably try to brush it off as a temporary phase you’re going through (this is what I did). It’s only once it starts having an impact on your daily activities and your health that you start to take it seriously.
One bad night of sleep can make for a lousy day but imagine the impact of weeks and months without sleep on our body. Poor sleep habits or insomnia can wear our bodies down over time if you’re not careful.
Millions of Americans face sleepless nights each year. At a minimum, you need to aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but how many of us achieve this goal? But, a decision to ignore this recommendation could lead to an adverse effect on your body. Sleep problems cannot be ignored.
There’s no point hiding your head in the sand and refusing to acknowledge the problem. It doesn’t go away. If you need to be convinced to start finding a solution, read on. These are serious health consequences suffered by people who have sleep problems. Don’t leave it too long. You don’t want your body to suffer.
Here are ten ways poor sleep affects your body. You need to know this.
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- 1. Sleep problems and anxiety
- 2. Lack of sleep and depression
- 3. Inability to Think Clearly
- 4. Poor sleep quality and heart disease
- 5. Reduced sleep and obesity
- 6. Sleep problems and high blood pressure
- 7. Lack of sleep and type 2 diabetes
- 8. Sleep problems and how it affects your sex drive
- 9. Poor sleep quality and skin problems
- 10. Lack of sleep and poor immunity
1. Sleep problems and anxiety
Despite the side effect of feeling drowsy and perhaps moving in perpetual slow motion, poor sleep can leave you feeling anxious.
Researchers have discovered that people with insomnia are 17 times as likely to have anxiety than those who can achieve the recommended hours of sleep (National Sleep Foundation). This is a consequence you need to take seriously. If you think you can live with insomnia, think again. Start finding a solution today.
2. Lack of sleep and depression
Not only are you at risk for feelings of anxiety but depression as well. Individuals who have poor sleep health are 10 times as likely to experience clinical depression.
Sadly, the more often you experience insomnia, the higher your risk of developing depression according to the National Sleep Foundation. Again, this is a serious consequence of too little sleep.
3. Inability to Think Clearly
Having trouble concentrating at work? Poor sleep can wreak havoc on your brain’s capacity to put two and two together.
This side effect can translate to reduced reaction time and hand-eye coordination. According to Mayo Clinic, simulation tests demonstrate that sleep-deprived people perform hand-eye coordination tasks as badly as or worse than intoxicated people. However, it doesn’t stop there. People with poor sleep quality have an increased inability to concentrate, and zero capacity to form or retain memories.
If you don’t think your insomnia is affecting your work, take a good look at your ability to think clearly. Are you really coping? It may be time to face reality on what your lack of sleep is doing to you.
4. Poor sleep quality and heart disease
Poor sleep quality not only impacts our minds but also, can affect the body. One organ influenced explicitly by how well you do, or do not sleep, is your heart. The American Heart Association cites an irregular sleep pattern as being the trigger for multiple cardiovascular problems.
If you achieve less than six hours of sleep per night, you are at an increased risk for cardiac problems down the road. For one thing, those suffering from sleep deprivation have higher levels of stress hormones and inflammatory substances in their blood which contributes to heart disease.
The impact of sleep deprivation not only affects the heart but other organs in the body too. But if you already know you’re experiencing heart problems and you know you’re suffering from sleep deprivation then this may be the link.
And if you’re not already experiencing cardiac problems, avoid them by dealing with your sleep problems straight away. Nothing is resolved overnight but at least you can start making improvements tonight.
5. Reduced sleep and obesity
Aside from poor eating habits, the failure to secure a good night’s sleep can weigh you down, figuratively speaking. Study after study continues to reinforce the need for rest if you are ever going to win the battle with the scale. Those who sleep for shorter periods of time are more likely to snack more often and eat more food.
According to the Harvard Medical School, you are also more likely to shy away from healthy vegetables and protein and lean more towards fatty foods and sugar. Couple this with certain feelings of fatigue and the desire to exercise flies out of the window for this group of people.
If you think you’re making an effort to lose weight but you’re not getting enough sleep, your efforts may be wasted. Sleep may be the missing ingredient in your diet. Deal with your sleep problems, find a solution and get healthy.
6. Sleep problems and high blood pressure
Your failure to snooze appropriately can also raise your blood pressure, adding to other existing cardiac woes. If you are experiencing blood pressure problems and sleep issues, you may want to seek the attention of a sleep specialist to rule out sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can also contribute to high blood pressure, increasing your risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Sleep apnea is a serious problem but there are ways to cope with it. Start finding a solution today to regain your health.
7. Lack of sleep and type 2 diabetes
Our bodies react to sleep loss in a myriad of ways, but nothing is perhaps more amazing than the poor impact sleep can have on insulin production. Not sleeping well can increase your risk of developing diabetes (WebMD). The reason for the enhanced risk has everything to do with what it is we are putting into our bodies.
When we are tired or too fatigued to prepare healthy meals, it is in our very nature to gravitate towards those foods that can cause our sugar levels to rise rapidly. It’s not all about what we eat, but our bodies response.
When we don’t sleep, our body isn’t always clear about what it should be doing with the insulin. This confusion contributes to the mediocre production of insulin or insulin resistance.
Type 2 Diabetes is a serious health concern. If you can retain your health, do it. Try different strategies for getting more sleep and your body will thank you by functioning the way it is meant to.
8. Sleep problems and how it affects your sex drive
Men and women may experience lower libidos or a lack of interest in sex according to sleep specialists. This side effect is mainly due in part to inadequate energy levels, feeling tired, and higher levels of tension.
9. Poor sleep quality and skin problems
Want to look younger and healthier? If you’re looking to improve the glow of your skin and rid yourself of those bags and dark circles beneath your eyes, you better boost your hours of sleep.
Poor sleep can increase fine lines, and dull skin thanks to the loss of collagen and protein which gives skin its natural smooth appearance and elasticity. There’s only so long you can keep going before this becomes noticeable on your face. Find the solution to your sleep problems to improve your skin’s appearance.
10. Lack of sleep and poor immunity
Poor sleep habits can devastate your immune system, leaving you susceptible to viruses and receptive to germs that trigger other illnesses.
Have you noticed you’ve been getting sick more often? Has a small cut turned into an infection that won’t heal? If your immune system is not functioning properly, you’re going to see the effect in and on your body.
Your body needs sleep as time to recover and heal itself. If you don’t get the sleep your body needs, you’ll start seeing the impact on your immune system possibly before you even acknowledge you have a sleep problem. Recognize the consequences and take action to solve your sleep problems starting today.
If you are suffering from sleep deprivation, be sure to take the time to consult your primary physician or even a sleep specialist about your sleep problems. He or she should conduct a full review of your physical and mental wellness. Take it seriously, sleep problems can get worse over time. Start resolving this problem today.
⇒ Looking for a natural way to improve your sleep? Here are 8 Foods to Help Sleep.