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An Eye-Opening Look at the Physical Toll of Poor Sleep

Last updated 3 years ago

The long-term affects of poor sleep go beyond sleepy eyes and a short temper. In fact, continuously depriving yourself of quality sleep can lead to heart disease, changes in weight, and even hallucinations. You need an average of seven to nine hours of sleep each night in order to restore energy and avoid the physical problems associated with poor quality sleep.

Memory loss
Every time you sleep, your brain consolidates memories, internalizes daily tasks, and makes decisions. In fact, REM sleep helps your brain piece together the delicate memories from throughout the day, so that they will be easily stored and organized inside of your mind. Every time you deprive yourself of sleep, you impair your brain’s cognitive ability. Each night your brain is unable to consolidate the day’s memories, you become at risk of suffering memory loss.

Weight fluctuations
It’s difficult for your body to process blood sugar and leptin, a protein hormone that regulates appetite, while you are awake. Not only does this impair your body’s metabolism, but also it can eventually lead to type 2 diabetes. Lack of sleep limits your body’s ability to process sugar and suppress food cravings, so you may find yourself fluctuating in weight.

Weakened immune system
Prolonged sleep deprivation is noticeably associated with poor immune functioning. In addition, moderate sleep deprivation, meaning less than six hours of sleep at night, is also linked to diminished immune response.

High blood pressure
Sleeping gives your heart a chance to slow down for a considerable period of time. When you deprive your heart of this rest period, your body has to accommodate and eventually raise your overall daily blood pressure. In addition, your brain may have increasing trouble regulating your stress hormones, which can also raise your blood pressure.

Sleep Services of Maryland offers complete diagnostic treatment for all sleep disorders. Our priority is to provide our patients with a comfortable, high-quality, convenient treatment experience. For more information, contact our Maryland sleep disorder center at (240) 912-4683.


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