Sleep Deprivation Causing Health Issues


Sleep Deprivation in our society is common because the idea to produce efficiently and quickly (for our jobs) requires little sleep.

Our Busy Lives Force Us to Stay Awake

Daily Times

Our jobs push us to stay awake and live on little sleep. Culturally, sleep is not a priority compared to how we are expected to produce in our jobs. Some countries take naps during the day, and businesses even close during the afternoon: Italy and France. The United States may not value sleep like other countries, but there are health issues with lack of sleep. Do we value our work over our health?

Sleep is Like Medicine to our Bodies

The recommended amount of sleep is eight hours. Most people sleep six to seven hours a night.  Matthew Walker, a neuroscientist told Business Insider, “The shorter you sleep, the shorter your life.” Physical and mental issues develop with shortened sleep.

Lack of Sleep is Connected to the Following:

  • Cancer
  • Skin aging
  • Weight gain and destructive eating habits
  • Loneliness
  • Short-term and long-term memory affected
  • Alzheimers
  • Heart Disease
  • Irritability
  • Hallucinations
  • Slower reactions
  • Immune system compromised
  • Hormonal levels affected
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Focus/attention is affected
  • Driving poorly
  • Overproduction of urine
  • Inflammation

The above conditions are all caused by a person’s body lacking sleep and causing stress in our different systems: physical/mental.  Deprivation means your body is being deprived of something. You are lacking something that your body needs.

A Part of the Brain, Pineal Gland,  Makes Melatonin that Helps us Sleep Longer.

Melatonin helps us sleep, but when we don’t get enough sleep melatonin levels decrease. Melatonin protects us from damage to our cells and DNA.  Also, melatonin has receptors that have an important job.  “These receptors are present in a variety of organs and immune cells, suggesting that melatonin also controls the function of the immune system and other systems throughout the body.”

Sleep is vital for health and can affect other functions in the body.  In accordance with other physical effects of sleep deprivation, negative behaviors can also develop.

Unhealthy Eating Habits Lead to Weight Gain and Mental Capacities are Influenced

When someone is not rested they want to eat at night, smoke or drink.  Eating foods that are unhealthy can keep you awake and possible create addictive behaviors.  Most foods eaten at night are high in sugar and carbohydrates.

On another note, lack of sleep can affect you mentally. It can affect your focus, attention, and driving ability. Have you ever tried to drive with less than eight hours of sleep? When someone drinks too much alcohol, driving is influenced.  The same effect is true when there is sleep deprivation.

The Quality of your Skin and Immunity Suffers from Lack of Sleep

Sleep deprivation over the years can affect your skin.  Skin deteriorates as it also needs rest as well. But, it also doesn’t heal with age spots and scaring.

The immune system suffers from lack of sleep and is unable to fight against infections. Sleep helps your body be at rest, and if it never rests, it’s open to viruses. The immune system has to work twice as hard to allow the body to be restorative.

Internal Organs are Deprived

Heart issues develop with less than eight hours of sleep. Concentrations of C-reactive protein, a marker for heart disease, also increases in people who have less than eight hours of sleep.

Tips on Being Healthy with our Sleep

Many other health issues accompany sleep deprivation. In our society, we are pushed more than any other country. However, the way to get enough sleep and avoiding these health issues would be to prioritize: Allow one hour before bed to be “present” and relax.  Turn off all technology and rays of light. If you are an early riser or have to get up early in the morning, go to bed earlier the night before by creating an environment that allows for sleep and relaxation. Remember, getting eight or more hours of sleep is a big part of being healthy.