The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation happens when you don’t get enough rest for your body to work appropriately.

Sadly, certainties on the predominance of lack of sleep demonstrate that a large number of us are in danger of not getting enough rest. Specialists from the NHS say that about 1 out of 3 grown-ups experience the ill effects of the results of lack of sleep.

According to the journal PLoS One, we need somewhere in the range of 7 and 8 hours of good quality rest each night. Constantly dozing under 6 hours a night can put us in danger from the threats of lack of sleep.

Negative effects of sleeplessness

As indicated by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, getting enough rest is fundamental for good wellbeing. Rest is a fundamental need of the body, and the impacts of lack of sleep can be as genuine as not eating or relaxing. Not resting enough influences your physical and psychological well-being and can prompt loss of profitability and genuine damage.

Let’s look in more detail at the impacts of lack of sleep.

Affects brain function

The brain is the organ that controls all functions of the body. It controls your thoughts, memory, speech, arms and legs movement, and the function of the many organs within your body. It processes sensory information, regulates blood pressure, and releases hormones.

Nevertheless, sleep deprivation can hinder your brain’s normal function. It can leave your brain exhausted thereby slowing down your physical and mental responses. It can affect your thinking, concentration, and creativity and can lead to poor decisions and confusion.

Lack of sleep also disrupts hormone production. It can lead to increased levels of stress hormones which can make you moody, emotional, quick-tempered, and eventually harm your social relationships.

The worst thing that could happen with continuous sleeplessness is brain damage. A study in the Journal of Neuroscience shows that the brain cells in mice forced to stay awake were destroyed and that the same thing could happen to humans.

Weight gain

One of the reasons a person who lacks sleep becomes overweight is because of hormonal imbalance. Lack of sleep triggers the hormone ghrelin which causes the person to feel hunger thus resulting in overeating and obesity.

It is important to note that obesity is linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer. Therefore, it is essential to look closely at your weight.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can be caused by several factors like obesity, smoking, and alcoholism. But according to recent studies, insufficient sleep can also cause high blood pressure. This happens when the pressure exerted by the blood on the wall of arteries rises above normal.

If you have had high blood pressure over the years, it may do some harm to your veins and put a strain on your heart.


Diabetes occurs when your body is unable to properly produce insulin, a blood sugar-lowering hormone.

Lack of sleep affects your body’s release of insulin. When there is not enough insulin in your body, it fails to use glucose for energy, thereby increasing the blood sugar and putting you at risk of developing diabetes 2, and eventually harm your eyes, kidneys, and heart.


According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, one in every five serious motor vehicle injuries is related to driver fatigue.

Poor sleep quality affects your physical and mental state. It will then lead to poor balance and coordination making you more prone to accidents especially when you drive.


There is some evidence of the connection between long-term sleep deprivation and the risk of cancer. Specifically, individuals with circadian rhythm disorders — in which the body’s natural clock is disrupted because of rotating shifts, for instance — might be at increased risk.

The International Journal of Cancer found that the disruption of the body’s internal clock affects so many biological functions, including hormone function. The suppression of the melatonin hormone due to exposure to bright light at night would increase the production of the estrogen hormone thereby stimulating the development of hormone-sensitive tumors in the breast.

Maintain good quality of sleep

Rolling out positive improvements to your quality of sleep will help maintain a strategic distance from considerable dangers related to sleep deprivation.

Getting 7-9 hours of good night rest supports your brain capacity, improves your well-being, and prevents life-threatening conditions.

NOTE: This post was first published by me in Pinas Balita.

Do you know other negative effects of sleep deprivation? Tell us in the comments section below.

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