The Scary Ways Sleep Deprivation Impacts Your Health

We consult our sleep expert.

Woman standing on the street yawning.
Photo by Kevin Grieve on Unsplash

We know that a lack of sleep makes us cranky, hungry for ALL of the sugar-laden carbs and gives us a dull-as-anything complexion, but have you ever thought about the long-term effects it can have on your health? As we learn more and more about the value of sleep, we’re starting to realise that it truly is a pillar of wellness, and that disrupted sleep patterns can sow a series of negative ramifications for your hormones, which has knock-on effects in just about every area of your health.

We spoke with Amodrn sleep specialist, Olivia Arezzolo, about why good, consistent sleep is so important. Here’s what you need to know about sleep deprivation and what it can do to your body.

Hormone imbalances

According to Olivia, bad nights of sleep instantly alters your hormones—making you much more likely to feel stressed, depressed, anxious and ‘wired’, have memory lapses and be unable to concentrate, gain weight from eating more, have a slower metabolism, lose muscle tone, crave sugary snacks, become more likely to be sick, and take longer to recover if you do become sick. So yeah, she reckons it’s pretty important.

Woman sitting on steps looking sombre.
Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

Some alarming facts about the results of sleep loss:

It’s hard to play catch-up

In today’s high-pressure, fast-paced society that demands a jam-packed workday, a workout and at least one social event per evening, many people will consistently forgo a good night’s sleep during the week with the intention that they’ll ‘catch up’ at the weekend. However, Olivia says that unfortunately, it just doesn’t work like that.

sleep deprivation
Image: iStock

She argues that scientists have found that it takes just one night of sleep deprivation for cortisol levels—the stress hormone which suppresses immunity and makes you feel anxious—rises by 37%. This is why you can’t just ‘catch up’ on the weekend—and the likelihood is that you’re going to feel awful from the very next day. This very factor is key to why a sustained and consistent sleep routine that becomes a real priority is essential.

Effects on general wellbeing

Olivia explains that quality sleep is so critical and often the missing link in people’s wellness routines—because ultimately, it governs how you think, feel and behave. These factors predict whether you’re able to mentally and physically attain your best. She says that “with sleep, you’re able to be your best self. Without it, you’re severely limiting your capacity. Fortunately, sleep is free, accessible to all and transportable – you just need to know how to do it properly.”

Woman lying face down on bed with hair covering her face.
Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

Olivia’s FREE 21 Days of Sleep Tips Series, highlights a sample of the physiological, psychological and nutritional changes you can make to improve your sleep tonight, and energy levels tomorrow. Alternatively, get in touch with Olivia at [email protected] to find out more about her program, The Sleep Solution, and how it can transform your sleep, and restore you to your best self—inside and out.

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