The Risks Of Sleeping Less Than 25 yrs
If you live to the age of 75 you will sleep approximately 25 years.
If you are going to sleep for such a significant part of your lifetime you might as well optimize it to be as effectively as possible because the benefits from sleep far out weight the harmful effects of not getting enough quality sleep.
There is still a lot to be learned about sleep and the reasons behind it. Some of the newest research on sleep has linked a lack of sleep to many health problems such as, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity. I'm going to assume you don't need to read a bunch of research on sleep to know it is important and if you are mindful of the feedback you receive from your body and brain you mostly likely know if you are getting enough quality sleep. It can be detrimental, if you are not mindful of these effects and gradually incur a greater sleep debt and stay in some state of sleep deprivation. It's estimated that around 20% of adults are sleep deprived.
Unfortunately this happens much too often in our culture and living a lifestyle of always trying to do more and sleep less. Sleep is looked like as a weakness by many. This constant state of sleep deprivation become a new normal for many people. To get through the day sleep deprivation is masked with caffeine, amphetamines, and other wake promoting substances. This substances may help in the short term but there is no free lunch. The body is very smart and resilient, you may feel great sleeping 4 hours and popping some stimulants but what is the body giving up in exchange?
The Harmful Effects of Not Sleeping Enough
Memory- Your short term memory and ability to recall information from memory can be impaired with just one night of poor sleep.
Concentration- The ability to focus, store information, and problem solve will be reduced
The ability to cope with stress is decreased.
Hormones that control stress responses are elevated with a lack of sleep. While the level in which the body responds to stress may differ, your body does not differentiate between the source of the stressor. The response to a lack or sleep will be the same as if you were running from a lion or getting into a fight but at a more acute level. These hormones can put your body in a state of fight or flight, which increases adrenaline causing:
increase heart rate
elevates blood pressure
increase muscle tightness
Your body will not be as efficient burning fat while it is sleep deprived.
Your body is smart. Going back to the stress response- if your body thinks it is in a state of fight or flight it is not going to apply as many resources to digestion and may hold onto fat if it believes you will need it to survive.
Leptin is dcreased. Leptin is the hormone that activates the feeling satiety, or the feeling of fullness when eating.
Ghrelin is increased. Ghrelin is the hormone responsible for stimulating your appetite.
Inflammation and Immune System
A lack of sleep of just 2-4 hours increases inflammatory response causing white blood cells to produce cytokines these include:
Inflammatory cytokines are associated with higher potential of developing heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, auto-immune issues, and obesity.
Reduction in the abilities body to fight off disease and infection
Premature aging can occur with inadequate sleep.
Poor sleep can interfere with the production of HGH. Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is released by the pituitary hormone during sleep and is a hormone which simply helps
HGH has been called the anti-aging hormone, linked to many potential benefits from healthy skin, reduction in cellulite and wrinkles, better cognitive function, and better vision.