Four dangers of lack of sleep on your health

Sleep is one of the most important aspects of health and has been termed by some as the ‘third pillar’ of health (after exercise and good food). Unfortunately, it is one of the most neglected and undervalued.

Most people live very hectic lives and are always on the move; so we have precious little time to sleep. Some people are so busy that they barely get to  sleep for days, and many people in the corporate world take pride in their ability to stay awake for days on end.

Some people naturally suffer from a disorder that causes them not to sleep called Insomnia, which can be treated; but a majority of people do not get the recommended amount of sleep per day (7-8 hours) for avoidable reasons. If this is you, then read on to see the top four reasons why a lack of sleep could be bad for your health.


1. Prone to diseases

People who do not sleep well are more prone to diseases like stroke, heart attacks and many more cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, bacterial and viral infections.

When you sleep, your body has a chance to repair itself and prepare us for the next day. The immune system goes into reboot mode to replenish white blood cells and many other defenses that may have been spent protecting the body.

So when there is no or not enough sleep, the immune system does not make enough white blood cells to fight infection or diseases and the result is that that person ends up sickly and takes a longer time to fight that sickness.

2. Prone to Accidents

People under sleep deprivation, are more likely to make mistakes due to their reduced attention span and slower reaction times. Studies have actually shown that sleep-deprived drivers have the same slow reaction times and reduced attention span as drunk drivers. Generally, sleep deprivation can have an effect on the quality of the work you do and the decisions you take at work and even at home.

3. Prone to mood swings, stress and depression

Have you ever taken a nap and woken up refreshed and feeling reborn? That is one of the benefits that sleep could give you. on the other hand, if you do not sleep well, many at times you wake up feeling cranky and moody and this feeling could continue throughout the day, possibly even affecting your work and relationships with your colleagues and family.

4. Prone to Obesity

People who do not sleep well are more likely to be become obese than those who sleep well. When you do not have a good night’s sleep, you wake up feeling hungry ( due to lower amounts of a hormone called leptin which is responsible for suppressing hunger pangs and appetite) than you actually are and as a result you eat more to compensate for that hunger. This hunger will keep coming back during the day refusing to go away and so you keep eating to satisfy it which means more fat in your body and you putting on weight.

As we have seen, sleep is very important to your health. So think twice the next time you decide to stay up.

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