It is clear that sleep and daily functioning have a relationship. Yet, everyone knows those endurable consequences that occur after poor sleep like fatigue, lack of focus, or a bad mood. What many don’t know is the long term health effects associated with lack of sleep or too much sleep.
Below are some of the body consequences based on studies conducted on sleep in relation to disease:
Research found that people who already have hypertension will have a higher blood pressure during the day after a single night of bad sleep.
Another study found that sleeping less than six hours or more than nine increases the possibility of coronary heart disease for women.
Furthermore, people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, awaken multiple times every night to breathe due to a blocked airway. During those brief awakenings, blood pressures increases. Thus, there is evidence that there is a relationship between heart disease and sleep apnea.
Research has shown that those who regularly sleep less than six hours have more chances of having a higher BMI. Growing evidence has proven that sleep is a probable risk factor for gaining weight and a link to overeating and lack of exercise.
Sleeping causes our bodies to release hormones that support glucose processing, metabolism, and appetite. Not enough sleep can disrupt this hormone balance. For example, insufficient sleep leads body to secrete more of the hormone, insulin, after a meal. Since insulin regulates glucose and boosts fat storage, a higher insulin amount is related to weight gain.
Also, sleeping inadequately can decrease energy levels and thus make us too tired to exercise. As well as, it can lower leptin hormone levels and that may result in unneeded food cravings. Because of these cravings, people are more likely to turn to quick snacks like sweets for energy.
Multiple studies have shown that five hours of sleep every night for an adult can highly increase chances of getting diabetes. Lack of sleep can lead to type 2 diabetes by manipulating the way we process glucose.
There is also a correlation between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and diabetes. Sleep duration and quality have emerged as predictors of levels of Hemoglobin A1c, an important marker of blood sugar control.
70% of type 2 diabetics also have OSA.
Habitual sleep issues have been associated with mental distress, and commonly depression and anxiety. Since one sleepless night can irritate a person’s mood, it is very believable that chronic inadequate sleep can lead to lifelong mood disorders.
According to research, subjects who are able to get back to a regular sleep schedule, can likely rid of their mood disorder symptoms.
Inadequate sleep is correlates with a higher mortality risk. Up to 70 million people in America experience a type of sleep disorder. These sleep conditions have many adverse health consequences.
Three cross-sectional studies confirm that five hours of sleep or less increase lower life expectancy by about fifteen percent.
To learn more about sleep, see Why is it Harder to Sleep as We Get Older?
To find out if you may be suffering from a sleep disorder, see 11 Signs you Might be Experiencing a Sleep Disorder.
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