What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep

Published on: 31/07/2020

Without enough hours of restorative sleep, your mental and physical health might suffer in the long run. Here's what will happen:

When life gets busy, we often sacrifice sleep among other things. What we do not know is having a good night sleep is just as important as doing our daily exercise and eating nutritious food. It plays a vital role not only in our health but also in well-being throughout our life.


Most of us would ask how many hours of sleep is needed in order to maintain a good physical and mental health. What happens if we deprive ourselves of it? 

According to the National Sleep Foundation, seven to eight hours of sleep is recommended for people over age 64 and seven to nine hours for ages 18 to 64.


Sleep Deprivation

Ever felt tired and cranky? You might have a lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation can make you moody and quick-tempered. This is because sleep and mood are closely connected. In a study conducted by the researchers of the University of Pennsylvania, they found out that people who were limited to only 4.5 hours of sleep a night for a week felt angrier and mentally exhausted. This will also cause a person's inability to think and judge clearly.


Your Skin Suffers

You probably heard about this, sleep is the closest thing there is to a fountain of youth. This is because when you sleep, your body repairs itself and recovers. In fact, according to a board-certified dermatologist, Judith Hellman, MD, sleep is important for all of the body’s systems and their functioning. If you sleep for less than the recommended hours, the process of the skin creating new collagen will be interrupted and may cause the skin to sag.

Not enough sleep may also cause to worsen existing skin conditions such as acne breakouts and skin sensitivity.


You Gain Weight

Poor sleep can make you fat. Depriving yourself of sleep alters the way your brain works, which makes it harder to make healthy choices when it comes to food.

Many studies revealed that inadequate sleep is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity. One major factor is the impact of sleep in two significant hunger hormones scientifically known as ghrelin and leptin. 

Ghrelin is a hormone that has a job of increasing your appetite, while Leptin, on the other hand, is made by fat cells that decrease your appetite. It also has been found that sleep deprivation is linked to increased intake of foods high in calories.


Increases Risk of Having Diabetes

The body's reaction to poor sleep can resemble insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. This is according to Mark Mahowald, MD, director of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center. Since poor sleep is linked to gaining weight, it is also known that it increases the risk of diabetes.


People with poor sleeping habits tend to have more cravings than people with good sleeping patterns. Commonly, sleep-deprived people consume more sugar or other foods that can spike blood sugar levels. In fact, sleep deprivation is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes. This disease involves too much glucose in the blood, which may also lead to a higher risk of heart disease.


Without enough hours of restorative sleep, your mental and physical health might suffer in the long run. Improve your sleep today and make it a priority to maintain a healthier lifestyle.