Are you pulling a lot of all-nighters at work (or at home)? Do you stay out all night and tell yourself that you’ll catch up on sleep a few days later? While you may think that you feel fine the next morning, your lack of sleep can actually be having a detrimental effect on your health in the long run. Adequate sleep is essential for your body and not getting enough can have serious consequences for your health. Find out five ways that lack of sleep is affecting your well-being:
1. It’s Hurting Your Heart.
The most serious way that lack of sleep can affect your health is by causing heart issues. Numerous studies have now shown that consistent sleep deprivation has detrimental effects on the heart and leads to a variety of cardiovascular conditions. This includes angina, coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart arrhythmias, and stroke. These studies have shown that people who sleep fewer than five hours per night for an extended period of time more than double their chances of developing any of these heart conditions.
2. It’s Killing Your Immune System.
Do you find yourself catching more colds or just feeling more malaise than usual? It could be because of lack of sleep. Consistent sleep deprivation over time can lead to a weakened immune system, making you more susceptible to infections. When you’re not getting enough sleep, the T-cells in your immune system actually decrease, making your immune system impaired. Children under the age of 5 are particularly vulnerable to impaired immune health from a lack of sleep, so it is important that they take naps if necessary so that they can keep their immune system strong.
3. It’s Packing On the Pounds.
Are you struggling to lose weight or notice yourself packing on the pounds with no explanation? This could be from “burning the midnight oil,” as they say. Whether it be for work or pleasure, depriving yourself of adequate sleep is going to show on your waistline. Studies have shown that lack of sleep significantly affects your metabolism, slowing it down to a crawl. That means your body isn’t burning fat as fast as it could be and this results in excess weight around the midsection.
4. It’s Ruining Your Memory.
One of the most important things that occurs during sleep is the resting of your mind. If you’re depriving yourself of this rest, it eventually leads to noticeable neurological issues. People who consistently sleep fewer than six hours per night notice dramatic memory loss and neurological decline. This can be directly linked to a lack of deep sleep. Lack of deep sleep has been shown to actually lead to brain deterioration over time, which is why getting adequate sleep is recommended to avoid memory loss in old age.
5. It’s Giving You Bad Skin.
If skincare creams and cleansers haven’t been giving you the skin of your dreams, it could be that you’re not getting enough sleep! While you’re asleep, your skin cells are regenerating and leaving you with healthy, glowing skin. When you don’t get enough sleep, you don’t give your skin cells the chance to regenerate. This can lead to a variety of skin issues, like acne, wrinkles, crow’s feet, age spots, blemishes, and more. In order to replenish your skin, make sure that you are getting at least seven hours of sleep every night.