Sleeping well every night for at least 8 hours is a determining factor in good physical and mental health.
While you may not give it the attention it deserves, trouble getting a restorative night’s sleep leads to various negative reactions that over time will significantly affect your quality of life.
When your body rests, important processes happen. These include hormone production, metabolic processes, and the overall renewal of your energy.
So when your sleep is interrupted or your total number of sleep hours is reduced, it causes physical and emotional symptoms that make it hard to go about your daily life.
Since many are still unaware of these consequences, we’d like to highlight the 8 main ones.
Find out what they are!
1. It increases blood pressure
Poor sleep quality affects your arteries and blood flow, overloading your heart.
Because of this lack of control, you can develop hypertension with systolic pressure up to 132, when the ideal number is below 120.
Want to learn more? 7 Natural Remedies for Controlling Hypertension
2. Your appetite goes up
Sleeping less is linked with an increase in body mass index (BMI), because it increases appetite.
When you don’t sleep, you’re lowering your levels of leptin, a hormone that is in charge of keeping your appetite under control. Instead, you’ll see increased levels of ghrelin, also known as the hunger hormone.
If you habitually don’t get enough sleep, you’ll crave more carbohydrates and sugar, even during the day.
3. Your immune system gets weakened
The physical exhaustion you feel after a poor night’s sleep has a direct effect on the state of your immune system, lowering your production of antibodies that fight harmful pathogens.
This means an increased risk of bacterial and viral infections, in addition to autoimmune pathogens.
4. Cognitive difficulties
Your cerebral and nervous system health is what’s compromised the most by not getting enough sleep.
Because of this, people with insomnia have trouble with concentration and cognitive performance. After a night of poor sleep, it’s often harder to make decisions and retain information.
Over time, your brain doesn’t do as well at clearing out the proteins that form plaque, and therefore your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s goes up.
5. You’ll feel stressed and depressed
Recurring emotional imbalances often come from getting poor sleep quality for several nights in a row.
If just one night like that makes you irritable and stressed, several nights can trigger real depression.
Not sleeping enough affects the activity of your “well being” neurotransmitters, decreasing their secretion while increasing cortisol levels.
6. Increases your risk of Type 2 diabetes
Very few people know it, but sleeping less than 8 hours a night increases your risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Not getting optimal rest interferes with metabolic processes that control glucose levels, creating a buildup that can become dangerous.
As if that weren’t enough, it also decreases insulin sensitivity. Insulin is the hormone that plays an important role in controlling blood sugar.
7. You may gain weight
Besides increasing your appetite, poor sleep quality makes you more likely to gain weight.
Added to excessive calorie intake, certain hormonal imbalances are created that interfere with your metabolism.
As a result, your body’s ability to use fat and sugar as a source of energy goes down, causing it to accumulate instead.
Check this article out: How Much Should You Walk Each Day to Lose Weight?
8. You’ll have more inflammation
It’s very likely that after not sleeping enough, you’ll wake up with your joints or belly inflamed.
While inflammation can be caused by many different things, in this case it’s the result of an imbalance in tissue inflammation caused by a lack of sleep.
It’s vital to properly treat inflammation by resting well, of course, given that excessive inflammation increases the risk of chronic diseases.
As you can see, sleep doesn’t just recharge your batteries. It’s an essential habit for good health. Try to get the recommended number of hours in and you won’t have to deal with these negative consequences.