How A Disturbed Sleep Routine Can Damage Your Health

By Collins Nwokolo Thursday, 29 December 2016

How a disturbed sleep routine damage your health

After a sleepless night, a lot of us have experienced waking up all groggy and grumpy with a heavy head. Chugging down cups of coffee and dragging ourselves to work, we lack the energy and enthusiasm to deal with the day's challenges. 

While an occasional headache, lack of energy and a clogged mind might seem harmless, there’s a lot more to sleep deprivation than meets the eye. From catching the common cold to developing a risk of heart diseases and stroke, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes; lack of sleep maybe a factor. But millions of Americans are following the “work hard, play hard” mantra, prioritizing their work and social life over sleep and compromising their health. According to research, people who get about 7 hours of sleep a night have the best survival and even getting an hour less than the recommended hours of sleep can shorten life span.

Here’s an eye-opening list of potentially life threatening problems caused by lack of sleep for those who feel that sleep is a waste of time.




1. High Blood Pressure
Scientists have linked high blood pressure to poor sleep. A recent study by Mayo Clinic monitored eight participants in 19-36 age bracket for 16 days. They found that when the participants experienced poor sleep, they also experienced an increase in blood pressure as a result. Experts say that people who get 5 hours or less sleep may have a greater risk of developing high blood pressure or worsening already high blood pressure.




2. Cardiovascular Diseases
Lack of sleep is also linked to a number of cardiovascular diseases. According to a study published in the European Heart journal, sleep deprivation increases the risk of developing and dying of coronary heart disease and stroke. But that doesn't mean the more you sleep, the more your heart will be strengthened and the less risk of disease. An interesting finding in the study was that people who sleep more than the required number of hours also develop a risk of having heart problems.

Another recent study published in the same journal has linked lack of sleep to heart attack. Researchers found that sleeping less than 6 hours a day increases the risk of heart attack by almost 50 percent and the risk of stroke by 15 percent. So the key to a healthy heart is to develop a healthy sleep routine.




3. Diabetes
Lack of sleep messes up the body sympathetic nervous system and hormonal balance which affect the performance of insulin producing cells, increasing the level of glucose and hence, making you prone to diabetes. A recent study published in the journal Diabetologia, studied 59,000 women in the 55 - 83 age bracket and found that chronic sleep deprivation increases the risk of developing diabetes.

According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado, the body’s circadian rhythm or biological clock is disrupted by lack of sleep which makes the body less responsive to insulin, triggering diabetes. They concluded that the longer you are up during the biological night, the worse your insulin. Furthermore, late night snacking and eating when you should be sleeping also increases the risk of diabetes.




4. Poor Memory
Lack of sleep not only makes you fat and unhealthy but also dumbs you down by hampering your ability to learn new things and affecting your memory. A study conducted by researchers at the University of California showed that poor sleep leads to poor memory and forgetfulness.




5. Poor Immune System

Sleep deprivation suppresses the function of our immune system significantly. That means we are more likely to fall sick and catch a cold or flu. Once sick, your ability to fight sickness also depends on the quality of your sleep which is why we are often suggested to take rest when ill. Furthermore, sleep deprivation will make it longer for our body to respond to vaccines. So if you are getting a flu vaccine for instance, chances are you can still catch the flu because vaccine flu protection is significantly lowered due to inadequate rest.



6. Obesity
Who knew the major culprit behind those extra layers of fat is lack of sleep. Multiple studies and researches have shown that sleep deprivation is the major cause of obesity and bad eating habits. Sleep is responsible for regulating your metabolism, repairing your muscles and rejuvenating your body. The growth hormone, produced only while you sleep, is responsible for the breakdown of fat, reducing fat storage and the building of muscles. So if you're not sleeping enough you're not giving the body enough chance to get rid of all the fat. According to research, sleep deprivation makes you lose 55% less fat than you would with adequate sleep even if you're following a strict diet and fitness regime.

It’s interesting to note that the satisfying hormone, leptin is produced only when you are sleeping. Also, another hormone, Ghrelin is stimulated from lack of sleep and this hormone promotes hunger. So if you're not sleeping enough, you will easily be tempted to choose bigger meal portions and go for extra helpings.

How a disturbed sleep routine damage your health

What's worse is that lack of sleep also makes you crave for fatty foods and affects the brain's ability to make certain complex decisions especially related to food. As a result, you are tempted to make unhealthy food choices. So if you’re looking to get rid of those extra kilos and stay fit don’t mess with your sleep schedule.


So if you want to save yourself from such serious health problems or prevent worsening of already developed ones, you need to act now and fix poor sleeping habits. Prioritize your health by prioritizing your sleep because a healthy sleep schedule leads to a healthy heart, mind and body.





About Author
Eugene Gabriel is a passionate blogger. He has always been fascinated by sleep and how it relates to health and wellness. Read his post on Interesting things about Sleep. You can follow him on twitter @eugenegabrielj.

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Nwokolo Collins

Hi, My name is Nwokolo Collins, I am a passionate health enthusiast, I write amazing health articles with sufficient humour.

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