How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Body

When you wake up tired, cranky, and out of sorts the following day after tossing and turning all night, you already know what it feels like. But missing out on the recommended 7 to 9 hours of shut-eye nightly does more than make you feel groggy and grumpy.

The long-term effects of sleep deprivation are real.

Besides draining your mental abilities, it puts your physical health at risk as well. Poor sleep has been associated with a variety of health problems, including weight gain and weakened immunity.

Causes of sleep deprivation

Consistently lacking sleep or poor quality sleep are the symptoms of sleep deprivation. Getting less than 7 hours of sleep on a regular basis can eventually lead to health consequences that affect your entire body. There is also a possibility that this is caused by underlying sleep problems.

As with air and food, your body needs sleep to function properly. You restore the chemical balance of your body while you sleep. Your brain forges new thought connections and helps memory retention.

Without enough sleep, your brain and body systems won’t function normally. It can also dramatically lower your quality of life.

Treatment for sleep deprivation

The most basic form of sleep deprivation treatment is getting an adequate amount of sleep, typically 7 to 9 hours each night.

This is often easier said than done, especially if you’ve been deprived of precious shut-eye for several weeks or longer. After this point, you may need help from your doctor or a sleep specialist who, if needed, can diagnose and treat a possible sleep disorder.

Sleep disorders may make it difficult to get quality sleep at night. They may also increase your risk for the above effects of sleep deprivation on the body.

The following are some of the most common types of sleep disorders:

Read more.

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