What damage can sleep deprivation cause?
A severe lack of sleep is linked to a number of health issues including obesity, type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart attack. When your body is sleep deprived it becomes stressed and overproduces cortisol, the stress hormone. Not only can excess cortisol in your system cause a wealth of negative health benefits, it can also make you look older than you are, as cortisol breaks down the protein that keeps skin elastic and smooth.
There has been so many studies proving that a strong sleep pattern will lead to a longer, healthier life. This, however, doesn’t seem to be much of a motivator for many. Research has also proven that not sleeping enough makes it more difficult to control the amount of food you eat and metabolise carbohydrates. So you will find it much harder to burn off the calories you consume. This is due to the lack of sleep increasing the hormone ghrelin, which increases your appetite, making it difficult for you to feel full as it reduces the levels of the hormone leptin.
According to studies, people who sleep less than six hours per night are 30 per cent more likely to become obese than those who get seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
The side effects:
- cognitive impairment
- memory lapses
- impaired moral judgement
- increase in stress
- decrease in creativity
- impaired immune system
- risk of type 2 diabetes
- decreased testosterone
- increased heart rate variability
- risk of heart disease and stroke.
What can you do?
There are many tips and tricks you can try to get a better night’s sleep (take a look at our sleep hacks blog). One other method you could consider is hypnotherapy. A hypnotherapist will be able to address the subconscious part of your brain that could be preventing you from getting to sleep when you need to. When you enter a relaxed state, your conscious and subconscious parts of your brain will be able to work as one. The aim of this is to address your behaviours and thoughts around your sleep pattern.