Our lives are becoming increasingly busy, and sleeping has become a luxury not all of us can afford. But apart from feeling sleepy, tired and irritable throughout the day, lack of sleep can actually have far-reaching effects on your body. Here are the 7 things that lack of sleep does to your body.
Make you gain weight: Did you know that getting as little as 30 minutes less of shut eye a day can lead to metabolic disruption. Thought to be due to the fact that people who are sleep deprived tend to sleep more on the weekend to make up the sleep deficit, this form of weight gain can also lead to the onset of Type-2 diabetes.
Affects your brain function: Lack of sleep can lead to a lack of focus and a lowered ability to coordinate. While we all know that the days that you are sleep deprived can be especially difficult, a study conducted at the University of California, San Diego found that your brain's wiring may actually get affected due to the lack of sleep.
Can lead to depression: As per Dr M Safwan Badr, President, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, ‘Healthy sleep is a necessity for physical, mental and emotional well-being.' He found that lack of sleep has a definite correlation to depression and it can also increase a person's genetic risk of suffering depressive symptoms.
Puts you at risk of a heart attack: According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) lack of sleep is as bad as smoking for your health. Sleep disturbances have been found to double your risk of suffering from a heart attack and quadruple your risk of having a stroke -- this statistic was especially true for men. The research was part of the WHO programme ‘MONICA’ (multinational monitoring of trends and determinants in cardiovascular disease) and the ‘MONICA-psychosocial’ sub study.
Increases blood pressure: A lack of sleep at night is also linked to an increase in blood pressure, especially at night which is a major risk factor for heart disease and hypertension.
Affects your memory: It has been scientifically proven that sleeping helps you memorise better as the brain triggers synapses to strengthen or weaken according to the memory, known as long-term potentiation (LTP). But the opposite of this is also true. Lack of sleep can lead to memory loss as this process of strengthening synapses does not take place.
Affects your mood: Lack of sleep can really wreak your mood, but according to a recent study, the lack of shut eye is actually extremely bad for women with bipolar disorder. The condition marked by extreme mood swings is exacerbated by the lack of quality sleep.