Science Explains What Happens to Your Body When You Don’t Sleep Enough

Sleep has been in the news a lot lately, as sleep struggle is becoming a contagion in our society. It’s no wonder it’s a topic of conversation with one in three Americans starting each day in a sleep-deprived state.

When we sleep properly, we are healthier, more productive and we feel better. But if we find it difficult to do everything we need to do in our day, we staying up late or waking up earlier to get the things done.

The National Sleep Foundation issued sleep recommendation report including the amount of sleep required based on age.

The new recommendations are:

Older adults, 65+ years: 7-8 hours
Adults, 26-64 years: 7-9 hours
Young adults, 18-25 years: 7-9 hours
Teenagers, 14-17 years: 8-10 hours
School-age children, 6-13 years: 9-11 hours
Preschool children, 3-5 years: 10-13 hours
Toddlers, 1-2 years: 11-14 hours
Infants, 4-11 months: 12-15 hours
Newborns, 0-3 months: 14-17 hours

When an important report is due, someone is sick and needs care, or must-attend events are times when getting enough sleep isn’t an option. So, what will happen to your body, if you don’t get the recommended amount of sleep?

A team of Norwegian neuroscientists has given the answer to this question. After conducting a research of sleep-deprived groups in a controlled surrounding, they conclude that lack of sleep can change the white matter in our brains, and in other studies, it has proved that it can interfere with our genes.

We know that our bodies are good at repairing themselves. If we get a proper night’s sleep after a night of poor sleep, our bodies repair the change in the brain’s white matter. But a chronic state of sleep can create long-term effects.

What Happens To Your Body When You Don’t Sleep Enough

Not only our brain that suffers when we don’t get proper sleep. Here are eight things a lack of sleep can affect us.

  1. We Get Sick

Researches show that there is a direct relationship between sleep and our immune systems. When we are lack of sleep, our bodies have a difficult time fighting off illnesses.

  1. We Have A Hard Time Thinking

A study published in an Experimental Brain Research showed that a lack of sleep involved in poor decision-making, diminished reasoning and problem-solving skills and slower reaction times when faced with specific tasks.

  1. We Gain Weight

A study of three-year-long of 21000 adults illustrated the relationship between sleep and weight. It found that people who slept less than five hours a night were likely to gain weight and also at a risk of becoming obese.

  1. We Physically Age Quicker

A study showed that sleep habits and skin condition of people between ages of 30-50 and those who are suffering from a lack of sleep saw the effects on their skin and disappointed with their appearance. They had more wrinkles, age spots, fine lines and a lack of elasticity in the skin.

  1. We Hurt Our Heart

Lack of proper sleep can negatively affect the health of our heart. In a recent research published in the European Heart Journal, it says coronary heart disease and stroke risks increase when we aren’t sleeping.

  1. We Are More At Risk For Cancer

In a statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, they have connected the lack of sleep with different types of cancers like breast, prostate and colorectal cancers. It also proved that the people who slept more than seven hours a night had the fewer mortality rates in the group.

  1. We Have Less Sex

In a study of the Journal of the American Medical Association found that men who are getting less than five hours sleep per night over a week had least testosterone levels than their proper-sleeping counterparts. Mainly, it reduced sex hormone levels by 15%. More ever, having each night of poor sleep continued to decline their appetite for sex.

  1. We Easily Forget Things

Researchers have shown that our brains integrate things when we sleep making it easier to remind. When we don’t sleep properly, the brain can’t do this process and our memory starts to suffer.

Sleep is not just to feel refreshed although they are advantages to a proper sleep. It can be said that proper sleep can save your life. Recall your next binge-watching session on Netflix and choose a healthier, lights-out option instead.

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