Yawning. Struggling to concentrate. Feeling a little fidgety. Sound familiar? These are just some of the symptoms many of us have faced when we haven’t spent enough time under the sheets, but it turns out there is a lot more that happens to your body when it’s deprived of sleep than meets the eye.
Your respiratory system
Did you know that your respiratory system and getting enough sleep go hand in hand? Our bodies are more likely to pick up respiratory illnesses and infections when it’s deprived of sleep. Plus, it can aggravate existing conditions, such as chronic lung illness, if we don’t give our bodies the rest it needs each night.
Your cardiovascular system
If there is one thing many of us want to keep as healthy as possible, it’s our cardiovascular system. Sadly, we could be undoing all our hard work if we deprive our bodies of sleep. Inflammation, blood pressure, and sugar levels are all affected by how much sleep we get each night, which, in turn, can affect our heart and blood vessels if they’re put under unnecessary pressure.
Your central nervous system
Being the central highway for your body means the central nervous system needs to be up and running at max capacity as much as possible. Sadly, when your body is deprived of sleep, your brain can’t form pathways between nerve cells and learn new things. We could also be plagued with mental health issues in the long run, such as anxiety or paranoia as a result.
Your digestive system
Believe it or not, but depriving your body of sleep can be key to gaining unexpected weight. That’s because a lack of sleep means our brains can’t regulate two hormones – ghrelin and leptin – that are in charge of feeling full or hungry. If we don’t get enough sleep, there’s a chance our body will constantly think it’s hungry as there’s too much ghrelin stimulating our appetite.
Your endocrine system
Our endocrine system is in charge of releasing hormones. These tell our bodies what needs to happen and where. However, if we don’t get enough sleep, then we could find everything is a little off, and hormones are released when they don’t need to be and vice versa. This can even affect how we grow, especially in young children and teenagers.
Your immune system
Our immune systems get to work creating all the cells we need to fight off illnesses and any foreign bodies when we sleep. You might have guessed that a lack of sleep means it can’t do its job completely, meaning we’re left more susceptible to illness. It could also take longer to recover from any illness that comes our way.
There are plenty of reasons that we might not get all the shut-eye we need each night. While the odd night of too little sleep here and there might not have too much of an effect on our lives, it’s important to get to the root of the issue before it starts to have some long-term impact on our bodies.