4 Effects of Sleep Deprivation and Bad Sleep Quality on Your Physical Wellbeing

Posted by Chris Wilson on July 06, 2012 0 Comments

You’ve probably experienced the effect that sleep can have on daytime energy levels. But there are numerous other aspects of your life that are directly affected by the quality of sleep you get. Sleep deprived nights can cause health problems which may not be noticeable right away, but will eventually catch up with you.

The Zeez team believes it’s important to be aware of how our physical wellbeing is related to the amount and quality of sleep we get. Being mindful of associated health risks might lead you to make better choices when it comes to getting your well deserved rest. So we figured that our first blog posts should do just that... educate our readers on why sleep is important and should become part of your healthy lifestyle, along with diet and exercise. Here are four important aspects of your physical health which research has shown to be directly affected by sleep quality.


Your Immune System

Proper function of our immune system is highly dependent on getting high quality sleep. The immune system is designed to protect us from most infections and general ailments. Trading in a few hours of needed shut-eye can make you much more susceptible to catching colds, the flu, or developing disease in general. So... sleep great, feel great!


Your Weight

Recent studies suggest that shorter sleep duration has metabolic effects that can lead to weight gain, especially in women. According to a 2004 study, adults who slept 6 hours a night were 30% more likely to become obese than those who received 7 - 9 hours of sleep per night. Much of the research has focused on the correlation between sleep and appetite regulation. Results show that levels of ghrelin, the hormone responsible for hunger stimulation, rise when sleep is cut short, while those of leptin, the protein that signals appetite suppression, drop. Not only does lack of sleep stimulate appetite, it specifically increases cravings for high-fat and high-carbohydrate foods because your body needs extra fuel to sustain itself. The send home message is: snoozing means losing!


Type 2 Diabetes

Recent studies have shown a direct link between lower sleep duration and Type 2 Diabetes. Prolonged sleep restriction in healthy subjects impaired blood sugar control, signaling a higher risk of developing the metabolic disorder. Luckily, research also shows that healthy sleep can lower the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, and reduce its effects if already present, by positively influencing sugar control.


Blood Pressure and Heart Disease

Research shows that individuals who get 5 hours or less of sleep per night are at a much higher risk for developing high blood pressure. The American Heart Association conducted a study whose results indicate that, specifically, lack of deep sleep stages in men leads to an 80% higher chance of developing hypertension. Increase in blood pressure may also be linked to cardiovascular problems associated with poor sleep. A recently published study found that those who slept less than 6 hours a night had a five-fold increased heart attack risk than those who got 7 or more hours of sleep. In general, sleep has been shown to be a crucial component of a healthy cardiovascular system.

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