One of the most common problems, especially in adults, is lack of sleep due to underlying pathologies, other psychological disorders such as stress, depression or anxiety.
This situation brings negative consequences for people’s well-being, deteriorating their quality of life and their interaction with the rest of society.
In the following article, we will talk about this disorder and its consequences for human health.
Health consequences of not sleeping well
Not getting enough sleep brings with it general discomfort for people that degrades the condition of life and general health.
These are commonly reflected in the mood of people, their willingness to face daily activities and their development in social relationships. Here are the most common consequences of not getting enough sleep:
1. Weakening of the immune system
One of the consequences of not getting enough sleep is the depression of the immune system, since the body regenerates during the sleep stage.
Important: The body will need between 6 and nine continuous hours of rest (sleep) to carry out the work of cell regeneration.
In fact, it is scientifically proven that the body during restful rest (sleep) carries out activities for cell regeneration and recovery, including the release of proteins and cytokines, which help protect the body against inflammation and infection. (1)
In this context, if the body is deprived of sleep, we are weakening the work that the immune system must do to protect us from diseases.
Note: During restful sleep, it is the stage in which our immune system is strong.
2. Risk of heart disease
Another consequence of lack of sleep is that it can cause cardiovascular disorders such as arterial and pulmonary hypertension, atherosclerosis, cerebral ischemia, heart failure, arrhythmias or sudden death.
Note: One of the causes of lack of sleep is sleep apnea , a disorder that occurs when there is an interruption in breathing and the person snores, which can limit the flow of oxygen, increasing cardiovascular risk. (two)
Sleep time is directly related to an increased risk of diabetes, overweight and hypercholesterolemia, pathologies that directly affect cardiovascular health.
Important: Short-term sleep directly affects the general health of the body, but with more concern for the cardiovascular system.
3. Increased blood pressure
Another of the consequences of sleeping with sleep disorders is that it directly affects the blood pressure of patients.
It is already known that lack of sleep causes situations of emotional stress, anxiety or depression in waking people that directly alter cardiovascular health, including blood pressure. (3)
Note: Lack of sleep can, among other things, cause hormonal changes that generate alterations in blood pressure, due to imbalances between the states of wakefulness and sleep.
4. Possibility of strokes
Poor sleep due to sleep disorders, such as disturbed breathing, extremely long or short sleep, and insomnia, increases the risk of a new cerebrovascular event , such as a stroke or transient ischemic attack.
In this regard, some studies indicate that sleep-related respiratory pathologies constitute a risk factor in cerebral vascular accidents. (4)
Noteworthy: Waking up suddenly during sleep can cause a sudden increase in blood pressure, possibly leading to a stroke.
5. Development of diabetes and obesity
Another of the consequences of poor sleep develops in metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes.
The alteration of the circadian rhythm (balance between the state of wakefulness and sleep), causes metabolic and endocrine alterations that affect glucose, insulin, sympathetic balance, cortisol, among others. (5)
A relationship between sleep, adipose tissue, and energy metabolism has also been suggested. This is how sleeping short sleep periods is related to increased body fat. In general, sleep limitation is related to obesity and diabetes. (6)
Note: Exercising, in addition to helping against obesity and diabetes, improves the quality of sleep.
6. Concentration and attention problems
Another of the problems of sleeping less than required, and science has sufficiently described it, is the relationship between the quality of sleep and suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
This condition is very peculiar in children, and means that the patient has difficulty maintaining attention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior, due to an alteration in their biological rhythm, also altering their behavior. (7)
7. Decreased physical performance
Naturally, with the modification of the waking and sleeping schedules, in addition to the reduction in the number of hours to sleep, the body has less time to recover and regenerate, so it will constantly be under a state of fatigue and stress.
To highlight: It was previously mentioned that the human body needs restful rest (sleep) so that it can carry out its functions of repairing the cells of organs and tissues. If this does not happen, the organism will decrease in its energy efficiency; this frequently occurs in athletes. (8)
8. Irritability, depression and anxiety
When there is a poor quality of restful sleep, negative mood states can occur the next day , such as irritability or produce psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Among other causes, it occurs due to the imbalance in the production of neurotransmitters in the different glands and in the brain such as dopamine, serotonin, cortisol, endorphin, oxytocin, norepinephrine, among others, which affect mood. and human behavior.
9. Development of psychiatric disorders
As mentioned before, several of the consequences of sleeping fewer hours than necessary at night is the appearance of different psychiatric disorders.
Studies have indicated that patients with depressive disorders have reported early awakening or terminal insomnia as their main complaint, unlike patients with anxiety disorders who have reported falling asleep one hour later than usual. (9)
10. Decreased libido
Despite the fact that there is little scientific research in this regard, the data found suggest that the REM (Rapid eye movement) sleep phase is also essential for our psychic, affective and emotional recovery, obviously influencing sexual desire.
It must also be remembered that sleep at night is the period where the body recovers , including the normalization of hormonal levels, related to sexual activities.
Note: Mental exhaustion and fatigue will always be present in those people whose rest at night has been insufficient.
- Lack of sleep generates physical, psychological and biological disorders in people.
- The lack of restful rest generates a weakening of the immune system.
- Other of its consequences are pathologies in the circulatory, cerebrovascular and metabolic systems.
- Sleep must be mandatory for at least 8 continuous hours a day and at night.