Dangerous Side Effects Of Lack Of Sleep

Dangerous side effects of lack of sleep
The side effects of lack of sleep can lead to a lot of health problems that could prove detrimental if we are deprived of quality sleep,
The side effects of lack of sleep can lead to a lot of dangers that may affect our health. As we all know, the body needs at least eight hours of sleep which greatly contributes to maintaining a good health. But, there are more serious side effects, not yet known to many, that could prove detrimental if we are deprived of sleep or quality sleep, for that matter.

Lack of sleep can possibly cause negative effects. These are the side effects of lack of sleep that we fear about. If you don’t get proper rest, it can affect everything including your memory, your appearance, and your skin. Yet, this may also affect your weight and overall health especially if the practice becomes habitual.

PoopingScope takes the pleasure of sharing with you some information it has gathered regarding the various side effects people may suffer from if they lack enough sleep:

Side Effects of Lack of Sleep

Lack of sleep can cause death

Lack of sleep can prove fatal as it gives the possibility of increasing the risk of death due to the affliction of cardiovascular disease. Results obtained from a British research showed that lack of regular and adequate sleep found out the greater risk of mortality than those who complied with the required amount of sleep.

It can lead to accidents

Lack of sleep can lead to accidents. Based on studies that were conducted by researchers, it was found that driving after having a poor sleep, or none at all can be compared to the danger of driving when you’re under the influence of liquor. When there is a feeling of sleepiness because you were unable to get some good sleep, you tend to develop poor reflexes as you might not be in your proper senses which can lead to getting into accidents on the road, at work, or even at home.

Health issues

Lack of sleep increases the chance of getting several chronic diseases. Deprivation of the required daily sleep lets you acquire a lot of diseases. This give chances to the side effects of lack of sleep damage your health.

Among the most common chronic diseases associated with sleep deprivation include heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Moreover, it can also cause heart failure, heart attack, irregular heartbeat, and stroke.

Sleeping makes your immune system produce cytokines, a substance that protects the body from bacteria and viruses. This substance also strengthens the immune system providing more time and energy to fight against illness. If you are unable to get enough sleep, the ability of the immune system to produce the cytokines may be affected. This gives a greater reason to make you become sickly. More so, it could give you a long time to recover if you suffer from sickness.

Affect learning process

If you are lacking in sleep, this tends to affect the cognitive processes. This side effect of lack of sleep will weaken your alertness, attention, concentration, reasoning and the ability to solve problems. Generally, sleep deprivation renders your thinking and learning ability to become slow. This then makes it difficult for you to retain memories, process information and make decisions. It affects even your emotions giving you a hard time handling adverse situations.


Another side effect of lack of sleep is depression. Sleep deprivation is more likely to increase the symptoms of this condition. A poll conducted in 2005 showed that people who had been suffering from anxiety or depression slept less than six hours at night. Insomnia has often been the initial sign of depression, with one leading to the other. Symptoms of depression can also give adverse effects on a patient’s ability to fall into sleep. To fight against this condition, it is suggested that you follow the regular number of sleeping hours required daily which is eight hours a day.

Skin Damage

Lacking regular sleep can cause damage to the skin. Sallow skin, dark circles under the eyes and fine lines in the face may appear. These unlikely side effects may even stay permanently. Additionally, it can make you look older if the habit of getting irregular sleep becomes constant. Additionally, lack of quality sleep can also damage the elasticity of the skin. Too much stress resulting from chronic fatigue causes the increased production of cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for breaking down the protein in the skin to keep it smooth and elastic.

It can make you gain extra pounds

Lack of sleep increases hunger and appetite. You will gain more unwanted pounds if you don’t get enough sleep because you get to eat more. This is attributed to the increased production of the hormone called ghrelin. This hormone boosts hunger and lessens your production of leptin which is responsible for suppressing the appetite.

Increased hunger and appetite leads you to obesity over time. A study made in 2004 found that people who slept less than seven hours a day have a 30 percent more chance of becoming obese than those who slept nine hours or more.

It will make you feel less interested in sex

Men and women who lack enough sleep develop lower sex urge or lower libidos. Lesser interest in sex can be attributed to energy loss, sleepiness, increased tension and lower secretion of testosterone in men. These side effects of lack of sleep may cause problems with regards to relationships between couples.

It can cause fatigue leading to forgetfulness

Deprivation of quality sleep affects the memory of an individual which can lead to forgetfulness. This can be attributed to the unlikely effect of sleep loss on brain events known as sharp wave ripples.

The brain events occurring during the deepest level of sleep, transfer the information to the neocortex of the brain. This is where long-term memories are stored. But with lack of quality sleep, the sharp wave ripples may not have the chance to occur. Most likely, missing the opportunity of deep sleep may cause you to lose your memory. It will make you forget the events that have been stored in your brain.

Generally, the side effects of lack of sleep interferes with the internal body systems that such systems aren’t able to function well.

Here’s a more specific detail on how the side effects of lack of sleep affect our body functions and systems:

Central nervous system

The central nervous system works as the information highway of our body. It needs proper sleep to keep its function at a normal pace. If you are suffering from chronic insomnia, this causes trouble with how your body sends information. Lack of sleep affects the process of remembering new information. This causes the brain to become too tired to function affecting your mental and emotional state.

Immune system

As  much as lack of sleep weakens your immune system, it loses its energy to combat illnesses. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body may not be able to fight against bacteria and viruses that may take you longer to recover from illness. In addition, long-term sleep deprivation also increases your risk for chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.

Respiratory system

Another side effect of lack of sleep is Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Consequently, this is a breathing disorder experienced during nighttime which can result in sleep deprivation. This makes you more prone to respiratory infections and lung illness.

Digestive system

Not getting enough sleep can be a factor for gaining excess weight. Yet,  you may also acquire obesity as sleep affects the levels of leptin and ghrelin. These two hormones work to control feelings of hunger and fullness. If you lack sleep, leptin sends information to your brain that you’ve had enough. However, ghrelin overpowers leptin because the former takes its toll in stimulating your appetite. Consequently, you will have the tendency to resort to eating midnight snacks. This leads to weight gain and higher levels of insulin. In turn, it will increase your blood sugar resulting to chances of having type II diabetes.

Cardiovascular system

People lacking in sleep are more prone to cardiovascular diseases. This is a side effect of lack of sleep that can affect the normal condition of your heart and blood vessels. Insomnia can trigger an increased risk of stroke and heart attack.

Endocrine system

Your hormone production depends on the quality of your sleep. First of all, it would require at least three hours of sound sleep to have a better testosterone production. Second, you need exercise to help in the release of this hormone. In conclusion, sleep interruption affects your hormone production and growth hormone production, especially in children and adolescents. The growth hormones are responsible for building your muscle mass and repair of cells and tissues. The pituitary glands cause the continuous release of growth hormones.


Reference and Resources

  1. http://www.md-health.com/Lack-Of-Sleep-Effects.html
  2. http://readanddigest.com/lack-of-sleep-these-are-the-10-dangerous-side-effects-that-you-must-know/
  3. http://www.naturalhealthyways.com/lack-sleep-10-dangerous-side-effects/
  4. http://www.healthline.com/health/sleep-deprivation/effects-on-body


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