Health Effects of Sleep Problems

Sleep is a Vital Part of Life

If you’ve ever spent a night tossing and turning, you know how difficult it can be to function without sleep. But sleep can affect more than just the way you feel — a lack of sleep can lead to serious health conditions.

Learn how consistent sleep deprivation can lead to health issues.

Health Conditions Related to Sleep Issues

Weight Gain

Are you wondering why you’re gaining weight and it’s difficult for you to get rid of those extra pounds? The culprit might be your sleep. Not getting enough sleep every night results in weight gain and obesity.

Losing sleep can create a vicious cycle in your body. The more sleep deprived you are, the higher your cortisol levels will be. Cortisol is the hormone released during stress. The higher the level of these stress hormones, the more your appetite increases.

When you’re stressed, your body craves high-calorie foods. Since these foods are rich in fats, chemicals, and sugar, they add more inches to your waist, resulting in unexplained weight gain.

Heart Disease or Strokes

Eating the right foods and exercising regularly are not only the things that you need to help stay away from the risks of heart disease and strokes. Sleep also plays a big factor.

Your heart is impacted when you don’t get enough sleep of 7 to 9 hours every night. When you’re sleep deprived, your metabolism slows down and you may experience difficulty losing weight. Since you don’t see any changes with your weight and feel tired and sleepy, you may feel discouraged from exercising and physical activities.

Type II Diabetes

There are 29.1 million people in the United States who have diabetes, with 8.1 million more who may have the condition but haven’t been diagnosed. Your family’s medical history, the foods you eat, and your weight can affect your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

You may be surprised to learn that your sleep also plays a big role in acquiring this disease. In fact, sleep deprivation is a significant but often overlooked risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

Sleep can influence the levels of your blood sugar. If you have higher blood glucose, it can also result in trouble sleeping. People who lack sleep may feel more tired during the day. As a result of this, they’re more likely to eat comfort foods which are usually high in calories, sugar, and fats.

On the other hand, a good night’s sleep can help regulate your hormones that curb your appetite, control your weight, and strengthen your immune system to reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

High Blood Pressure

Your sleep plays a vital role in your blood pressure. If you’re sleeping for six hours or less every night, you may be at risk of developing high blood pressure. If you already suffer from the condition, sleep deprivation can make it worse.

Getting a good night’s sleep of seven to nine hours at night helps the blood regulate your stress hormones that cause high blood pressure. Another cause of high blood pressure is obstructive sleep apnea, a sleep breathing disorder where you experience multiple pauses in breathing overnight.

If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea may also increase your risk of getting heart problems, strokes, and diabetes.

Treatment Can Keep You in Good Health

If you’re having trouble sleeping, we can help. Our sleep specialists can determine the root of your sleep issues and find an effective solution so you can get the rest you need.

To get in touch with us, you can easily reach us by calling [tracking-number] or by filling out our online contact form. We’re here to help, so don’t hesitate to ask us any questions you have.

Health Effects of Sleep Problems FAQ

The ideal amount of sleep not only varies from person to person, it varies throughout the span of your life. While eight hours of sleep every night is thought to be the ideal, the fact is, you may require less or even more than that. 

To figure out how many hours of sleep you need, you can count back 7.5 hours from your normal wake-up time and use that as your bedtime for a week. If you aren’t waking up easily when your alarm goes off after a week, push your bedtime back by 30 minutes and continue to do so until waking up is easier. However, if you’re having trouble sleeping, we always recommend contacting our Ellicott City office at (443) 341-3085 and setting up a consultation so that our team can help. 

There are a number of health conditions that are related to poor sleeping habits. These include depression, chronic fatigue, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular issues. While getting quality sleep will not cure many health conditions, it can certainly prevent future issues and help your body heal. Your best course of action is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sambataro so that our team can help you assess your sleep quality. 

If you are chronically sleep-deprived, the effects on your health can be devastating. The worst side effects of prolonged lack of sleep are:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Hypertension
  • Psychiatric disorders 
  • Obesity
  • Heart attack and stroke
  • Memory loss
  • Immune system deficiency
  • Faulty brain function
  • Fertility issues 
  • Diabetes