How Poor Sleep Affects Your Body and How to Fix It

Monday, August 3, 2020

     Lots of us have heard that the amount of sleep we get can have a huge impact on our mood and the amount of energy we have. But, did you know that not getting enough sleep can also have some severe consequences for your health? Sleep deprivation can put you at risk of a number of medical conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Research has also suggested that it can decrease your life expectancy. 

     So, now we know that a good night’s sleep is critical in order to maintain good health, how do we go about achieving it? Keep reading below to find out all about how to spot sleep deprivation, how it affects your body, and how you can fix it.

How Poor Sleep Affects Your Body and How to Fix It

How to Tell if You Have Sleep Deprivation

     An average person needs approximately 8 hours of good quality sleep every night in order to stay healthy and function properly, but this isn’t the same for everyone. Some people will require more sleep in order to be healthy and feel awake, and others may require less. 

     As a general rule, if you find yourself wanting to take a nap in the middle of the day or you feel tired when you wake up, then there’s a good chance that you need to increase the number of hours you sleep. 

How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Body

     While an occasional night without sleep won't harm your health, if this continues for a period of time, it can become more serious. Not only will you start to feel low in mood, but you may also start falling asleep during the day. A lack of sleep could also increase your risk of accidents or injury at home, work, and on the road. 

     Sleep deprivation can affect your overall health and increase your risk of developing a serious medical condition. These are just some of the ways sleep can affect your body:
  • Your weight – studies have shown that you are more likely to gain weight if you get under 7 hours of sleep each night. 
  • Your immune system – people who suffer from sleep deprivation are much more likely to catch any bugs or colds that are going around. Research has shown that a lack of sleep can stop your body from defending itself against these bugs.
  • Your mental health – missing just one night of sleep can make you feel grumpy or irritable, so it's not surprising that long term sleep deprivation can lead to more serious mood disorders like anxiety or depression
  • The risk of diabetes – researchers have found that people who get less than 5 hours of sleep each night are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. 
  • Your sex drive and fertility – people who get less sleep are more likely to have a lower sex drive. Research has also shown that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to have trouble conceiving. 
  • The risk of heart disease – sleep deprivation can lead to an increased heart rate, higher levels of chemicals linked with inflammation, and increased blood pressure. This can have an impact on the health of your heart. 

How to Fix It

     If you suffer from sleep deprivation, the only way to fix it is by getting more sleep. While this sounds straightforward, it’s often easier said than done. Catching up on all of that missed sleep can take months, but it will certainly make you feel better and healthier.

     If you want to increase the amount of sleep you get, you should start by making the environment you sleep in more relaxing. Make sure the curtains are closed so that no light can enter the room, re-decorate your room to make it feel calmer and more relaxing, and purchase a quality mattress. Purchasing a quality mattress is extremely important for anyone wanting to get a good night's sleep. Memory foam mattresses are a brilliant choice because they provide a really comfortable way to sleep. These mattresses mold to your unique body shape and provide you with the comfort and support you need.

     Another great tip is to only set an alarm to wake you when you have to. This will allow your body to remain asleep until it’s ready to be woken. Waking up too early will not help your body catch up on the sleep it needs. You should also avoid using caffeine as a substitute. While caffeine may make you feel more awake and alert for a short period of time, it can also have an impact on the amount of sleep you get.

     Lots of people in the US struggle getting enough sleep at night. Currently, over 1/3rd of people in the US have sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on your mental wellbeing and your health, so getting enough sleep is extremely important.

2 comments

  1. Hello Ms. Kath! I've been having trouble fixing my sleeping schedule ever since the the lockdown happened. I was used to sleeping way past midnight and waking up past noon. I've been trying to fix it now that I already have classes. Thank you so much for giving us this blog post on how to fix it. Stay safe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Aaliyah,

      Thank you so much for visiting the blog. I do hope that because of this post you already found your way into a good night's sleep.

      Delete

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