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What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?

We’ve all heard that your quality of sleep can affect your health. However, you may be surprised to learn about the far-reaching effects of not getting enough sleep, night after night. 

Some of the health effects of regular sleep deprivation include:

Poor Focus, Memory, and Concentration

Your quality of sleep can have a major impact on your cognitive function. Sleep deprivation affects the hippocampus, a part of the brain that supports your ability to make new memories. This means that it will be more difficult to make new memories the day after a poor night’s sleep. 

Sleep also affects alertness, focus, and concentration. So, not getting enough sleep can diminish your productivity and cognitive performance.

Mood Swings

Sleep deprivation has been linked to increased feelings of irritability, anger, sadness, and frustration. It’s also been associated with a decline in positive moods. So, when you don’t get enough sleep, you’re more likely to experience mood swings, which may impact your relationships and overall mental health. 

Low Immunity

Your immune system develops cytokines and antibodies when you sleep, both of which are essential to warding off infection. Without enough high-quality sleep, your immune system won’t effectively rebuild its defenses, leaving you vulnerable to illness. In the long term, this effect of sleep deprivation may increase your risk of chronic conditions, like heart disease. 

Cravings and Digestive Health

When you don’t get enough sleep, your brain stimulates the release of ghrelin (a hormone that increases appetite) and decreases levels of leptin (a hormone that makes you feel full). This adjustment can lead to late-night cravings and snacking. Additionally, repeatedly not getting enough sleep can decrease the release of insulin after meals. Insulin helps lower your blood sugar levels.

At Mind Body Spirit Care, we offer integrative and holistic treatments to help you overcome insomnia and improve your overall wellness. Schedule an appointment today!