You think you can handle the all-nighter you pulled to finish up that big project. An extra cup of coffee should do the trick, right? But the truth is, you can’t cheat sleep. Exposing your body to sleep deprivation can be detrimental to your health. 

How Lack of Sleep Affects Your Health

You can try to catch up after a late night by taking naps throughout the day, but you can’t reverse the damage that has been done. Here are some examples of how a lack of sleep affects your health.

Weakened Immunity

While you sleep, your immune system produces protective substances that help fight off bacteria and viruses. A lack of quality sleep can reduce your body’s ability to fight off infections and diseases. It can also cause your body to take longer to heal.

A good night’s sleep is one of the easiest ways to make sure your immune system is functioning at its finest. Take a closer look at how sleep impacts your immune system.

High Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure is created by your heartbeat, which pumps oxygenated blood throughout your body. Long periods of sleep deprivation activate specific chemicals in your body that make it harder for the body to achieve extended periods of lowered heart rate and blood pressure.

This can lead to high blood pressure also known as hypertension, creating a greater risk of other cardiovascular issues, including heart disease. In other words, quality sleep is vital to your heart health.

Risk of Diabetes

Poor sleep affects your body’s production of insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar levels in the body. The incorrect usage of insulin in the body causes high blood sugar and can increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Weight Gain

Sleep affects the two hormones that control the feelings of hunger and fullness, leptin and ghrelin. Leptin tells your body when you are full, and ghrelin tells your body when you are hungry. Without proper sleep, your body can produce more ghrelin and less leptin, causing you to overeat.

A lack of sleep could also cause you to feel too tired to exercise, which could also contribute to weight gain.

Compromised Mental Health

Sleep is not only vital to your physical health, sleep is important for mental health too. A lack of sleep can affect your memory, concentration and mood, and it can put you at an increased risk for anxiety or depression. Being groggy throughout the day because of a lack of sleep can also increase your risk of accidents.

How to Improve Your Quality of Sleep

You may think you can outrun your sleep problems, but a lack of quality sleep will eventually catch up to you, and the result could be destructive to your health. If you are having trouble sleeping, don’t wait until it’s too late. Check out these 5 tips to help you fall asleep and stay asleep

The experts at Sleep Centers of Middle Tennessee are also here to help you get a good night’s sleep. Contact us today!