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Effects of Sleep Deprivation
Just one or two nights of decreased sleep will cause immediate short-term physical and mental effects. Short term side effects are impaired judgment, inability to learn, inability to remember things, and increase risk of accidents and injuries. Continuous lack of sleep can result in long-term effects. Long term effects are obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, increased aging, and even sooner mortality, according to a study conducted by Harvard Medical.
Sleep Deprivation = Weight Gain
Studies have shown that those who sleep less than 6 hours every night have a higher BMI than those who sleep 8 hours every night. Not only does sleep decrease the energy you need to exercise, but it can also form poor eating habits. Those who are deficient in sleep tend to crave sweet foods because the sugar provides short-term energy needed to complete the task. Lack of sleep affects your metabolism and has a huge impact on your hormones.
Sleep deprivation affects four main hormones.
The first affected hormone is cortisol. Cortisol is the “stress hormone”. When you do not sleep enough, your body will increase the production of cortisol. To much cortisol can affect your mood, metabolism, and immune system. Lack of sleep also increases insulin. Insulin regulates your glucose and fat storage. Increased insulin can cause obesity and type 2 diabetes. The third hormone affected is leptin. Leptin tells the brain that the body has eaten enough. If you are sleep deprived, leptin will be disrupted causing the brain to think the body can take in more food. Lastly, lack of sleep increases the hormone ghrelin which stimulates appetite.
So basically, overtime lack of sleep can make you gain weight. To protect your hormones, I suggest asking your doctor about adrenal support supplements. I take the Gaia Adrenal Support for one month at a time.
Sleep Deprivation = Compromised Mental Health
Sleep has a significant effect on mental health. Even one sleep deprived night can cause one to feel irritable and moody the next day. Prolonged sleep deprivation is even more severe. Long-term lack of sleep can cause / amplify disorders such as depression, anxiety, stress, sadness, anger, decreased optimism, and decreased desire to be social.
Here are some tips to improve your sleep
There are a lot of meditation apps out there right now. I use the Peloton app. They have a good selection of short guided sleep meditation sessions.
8. Keep electronics out of the bedroom
Try to keep phones and TV’s out of the bedroom
9. Keep it cold
Keeping a cold bedroom and warm blankets will set you up for a very comfy sleep.
10. Drink caffeine in moderation
Try to have the bulk of your caffeine in the first few hours of the day so that your body has time to burn it off by bedtime.
11. Lay down and get up at the same time every day
Go to sleep at the exact same time and wake up at the same time to normalize your circadian rhythm.
12. Do not take naps
13. Listen to calming music or sounds
Drift off to the quiet sounds of the ocean or rain drops.
14. Get the right pillow
There are specific pillows for side sleepers, stomach sleepers, and back sleepers. Make sure that you have the right one, so you do not toss and turn as much throughout the night.
15. Keep it dark
Try sleeping with a Sleep Mask.
16. Keep it quiet
Try wearing soft Ear Plugs for sleeping. They as especially helpful if your partner snores.
17. Do not smoke
18. Take a nice warm bath before bed
Preferably, with Epson salt
Reading a book before bed helps your mind and body slowly turn off.
If you liked this article, check out
30 Tips for Conquering Stress
What are some methods you used to fall asleep at night? Please share your thoughts below.
Hello! I am Julianne. I was born and raised in the Midwest but now reside in the Southwest. I am very passionate about well-being and nature. I enjoy travelling and creating on my free time. I hope you learned something new from my blog. Thank you for reading!
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