How Does Lack of Sleep Impact Your Health?

We know that sleep is important, but the fact of the matter is that too many of us don’t get the sleep we need.

There is a constant urge and expectation for us to get as much accomplished in a single day as possible and sometimes there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours to get everything done. Our society is so competitive that we often trade the time we should be sleeping to trying to accomplish more.

This doesn’t exactly work and can often be counterproductive as it slows down your production time. Yes, you may get a little more done that day, but the next day you are much less likely to be as efficient and will become less productive as a result.

And there is a difference between staying up too late for a night or two and it becoming a normal routine. For so many people, late nights and early morning is the norm, but what exactly are we doing to our body?

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • The impact little sleep can have on your body
  • Why diet and exercise is not enough to stay healthy

We’ve talked about how sleep directly correlates with your ability to fight fat, but this isn’t the only thing that it does, as it can trigger health issues that affect your everyday life. 

If you are constantly getting less than 7-8 hours a night, the recommended amount of sleep to stay healthy, then you are putting your health at serious risk. Not only this, but you may be impacting your ability to properly function throughout the day.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON’T SLEEP? 

  • Lowers Your Immune Response – When you don’t get enough sleep your immune system can be impacted, reducing your body’s ability to fight off illness, not to mention that illness can alter your sleep patterns [1].

  • Increase Risk for Coronary Heart Disease – The European Heart Journal found that getting too little sleep, and even too much sleep, can be a predictor of Coronary Heart Disease and stroke [2].

  • Impaired Memory – A growing body of research is pointing to a lack of sleep as a cause for forgetfulness and the decreased ability to learn new information. Research shows that sleep impacts the consolidation of memory, which directly affects your brain’s ability to process information and recall information. This is essential for learning new information [3].

  • Increases Risk for Diabetes – An article published by the American Diabetes Association shows that lack of sleep may increase a person’s danger of developing adult-onset diabetes. The article explains that studies show a correlation between a lower risk of type-2 diabetes with those getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night. More sleep can lead to a delay or prevention of developing diabetes [4].

  • Increased Weight Gain – As mentioned above, your sleep cycle can directly correlate with your body’s ability to fight fat and messes with your ability to decipher hunger signals. A study published in Sleeping and Breathing looked at 21,469 adults and how much sleep impacted their weight gain. Over the course of three years, those who got less than 5 hours of sleep were significantly more likely to gain weight and become obese [5].

⚡ Related: How to hack your sleep to fight fat and avoid weight gain!

  • You May Lose Your Looks – Ok, so beauty isn’t everything and looks are only skin deep, but that doesn’t mean that most people don’t want to look their best. In fact, lack of sleep directly impacts your skin. A 2013 study shows that people who sleep less tend to age more quickly, have more wrinkles, have more uneven pigmentation, and looser skin. The amount of sleep also reflected how a person perceived their looks. People who got less sleep felt less favorably about their appearance than those who got more sleep. There really is truth in the practice of getting your “beauty rest” [6].

  • Higher Rates of Cancer – Study shows that lack of sleep over time can lead to higher risk of developing prostate cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer. It is suggested that the melatonin suppression due to the lack of sleep may promote cancer cell development or growth [7].

I EAT WELL AND EXERCISE… ISN’T THAT ENOUGH?

When we talk about health, our main focus is normally on exercise and nutrition, but a poor sleep schedule can sabotage and undo your hard work. Like most of us, you probably try to avoid unhealthy foods so that you don’t get sick and develop a disease and the same practice should be taken when you approach your sleep cycle.

Would you knowingly consume food that could lead to higher risks of cancer and heart disease on a daily basis and just hope you don’t get sick? Of course not, so why would you trade hours of sleep on a regular basis when it can do just that?

When it comes to maintaining your health and reaching your goals, nutrition, exercise, and sleep are the three key factors that can work together or sabotage one another. If you are eating right, on a Custom Meal Plan and exercise every day, but you are not sleeping at night, you may be destroying your efforts.

If you are exercising and sleeping, but eating a crappy diet, you may again be destroying your efforts because you can’t out train a bad diet. If you are eating right and sleeping right, but not exercising, you may be missing out on a key element to staying healthy, with the average adult needing 7-9 hours each and every night.

In fact, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly can help you get a better night’s sleep so you can be at your best.

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