Dangers of Sleep Deprivation

Nothing good comes from being sleep deprived. In addition to fatigue and irritability, you’re at risk for becoming accident prone, sickly, overweight, off-balance and romantically challenged, among other things. Whether your lack of slumber is from a sleep disorder like obstructive sleep apnea or it’s insomnia or just staying up late, it can have a negative impact on your health, memory and mood, as well as your judgment, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

If you regularly fall short of the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night, Healthline says it can affect your body’s normal functions in the following ways:

  • Mood: The less sleep you get, the more you can become quick-tempered, moody and emotional, and it could lead to depression or anxiety.
  • Memory, thinking and concentration: Your short- and long-term memory, creativity, problem-solving skills and concentration are likely to suffer if you don’t get enough sleep.
  • Weakened immune system: Lack of sleep will lower your immunity, and you might be more vulnerable to cold and flu viruses.
  • High blood pressure: Your risk for high blood pressure increases if you get less than five hours of shut-eye each night.
  • Heart disease risk: Depriving yourself of sleep might increase your blood pressure and the chemicals that cause inflammation, which are both factors in heart disease.
  • Diabetes risk: If you don’t get enough sleep, your blood sugar levels will increase, putting you at risk for type 2 diabetes, and your body’s release of insulin, a hormone that lowers blood sugar, will be affected.
  • Poor balance: You’re putting yourself at risk for falls or other physical injuries because your coordination and balance is impacted when you lack sleep.
  • Accidents: Daytime drowsiness can lead to a higher risk for car accidents and other types of injuries.
  • Lower libido: If you’re sleep deprived, it could affect your love life.
  • Gaining weight: A lack of sleep will affect the chemicals that tell your brain when you’re full, and you might be more inclined to overeat.

BayCare Health System offers the most advanced diagnostic sleep testing available at our Sleep Disorders Centers. For more information or a physician referral, call (866) 328-9932 or find a doctor near you.