Sleep deprivation can have disastrous effects on health, as it kills you slowly by raising the risk of numerous deadly diseases. Even if you sleep 6 hours or less, you are at an increased risk of developing the following conditions:
1– High Blood Sugar
In one study, healthy participants were asked to sleep 4 hours a night, and after the sixth day, .researchers found that their glucose (sugar) tolerance was reduced by 40% lower, which increased their risk of developing diabetes.
Apparently, while resting, the body reduces the production of numerous hormones, including cortisol, and cortisol levels remain increased in the case of sleep deprivation, which skyrockets glucose levels.
Moreover, high blood sugar levels contribute to the development of vision problems, nerve damage, and kidney disease.
2 – Cardiovascular Disease
Adults over 45 who sleep less than 6 hours per night are twice as likely to experience a heart attack or a stroke. Sleep deprivation maintains the blood pressure high, and this leads to the risk of heart diseases.
Dr. Diane Lauderdale claims that “For most people, blood pressure falls at night. It could be that with shorter sleep it’s just not enough for that dip to take place.”
3 – Alzheimer’s
Sleep deprivation can cause and accelerate the progress of Alzheimer’s. In 2013, scientists have noticed that sleep-deprived adults’ brains contain much more ‘brain waste’ than normal. This waste accumulates in the brain and leads to this disease.
4 – Viral Infections
While sleeping, the immune system produces ‘T-cells’ which prevent viruses to overpower it.
Dr. Diwakar Balachandran, director of the University of Texas Sleep Center, explains:
“A lot of studies show our T-cells go down if we are sleep deprived. This could potentially lead to the greater risk of developing a cold or flu.”
Additionally, sleep deprivation causes stress, which weakens the immune system.
5 – Suicide
A 10-year study conducted at the Stanford University showed that sleep deprivation drastically increases the risk of suicide, even if the person is not depressed.
The study authors wrote:
“We suggest that poor subjective sleep quality may, therefore, represent a useful screening tool and a novel therapeutic target for suicide prevention”.
6 – Prostate Cancer
Sleep deprivation lowers melatonin’s levels in the body, and this hormone prevents tumor growth.
A 2013 study found that this reduction leads to an increase in severity and occurrence of prostate cancer, as people who are sleep-deprived has a 60% higher risk of prostate cancer.
7 – Ulcerative Colitis
Research has confirmed that sleep deprivation impedes the ability of the body to fight digestive inflammation and thus prevent ulcerative colitis.
This inflammatory condition is characterized by long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in your digestive tract and increases the risk of other conditions, such as liver disease or toxic megacolon.
The following video will reveal more information on the devastating effects of sleep deprivation: