What Happens If You Don't Get Enough Sleep?

A little while back we had done an article on tips for better quality sleep. Today we will go over the main reasons why your body requires sufficient amounts of sleep. Now, it goes without saying that everyone needs it. We’ve all been on the other side of a good night’s rest, and it isn’t pretty for anyone. But do you know exactly what happens if you don’t get enough sleep? If this interests you, continue reading.

1. Your Immune System Weakens


Yes, lack of sleep or poor sleep quality can affect your immune system. Studies show that people who don't get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. How fast you recover from said illness is also dependent upon how much sleep you get.


The science behind this can be broken down into a couple steps:

  1. During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep.
  2. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you're under stress. 
  3. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. 


In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don't get enough sleep.


2. Increased Risk of Cancer


According to Hopkins Medicine, disruptions in the body’s “biological clock,” which controls sleep and thousands of other functions, may raise the odds of cancers of the breast, colon, ovaries and prostate. Exposure to light while working overnight shifts for several years may reduce levels of melatonin, encouraging cancer to grow. 


According to Sleepfoundation.org, a study in the International Journal of Cancer found a relationship between women’s irregular work schedules and the rate of breast cancer. Researchers compared 1200 women who had developed breast cancer between 2005 and 2008, with 1300 women who did not have a cancer diagnosis. They found that the rate of breast cancer was 30 percent higher for the women who had worked shifts. Women who had at least four years of night shift work, as well as those with fewer than three night shifts per week (keeping them from ever fully adjusting to one schedule) were at highest risk. Shift work has also been shown to increase the incidence of certain cancers—for example prostate cancer—in men.

3. Your Libido Suffers


Anxiety and depression, both side effects of insomnia and sleep deprivation, are known to cause sexual dysfunction for a variety of reasons, both physical and cognitive. When the body becomes stressed because of sleep difficulties, the brain suppresses the production of sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone in favor of stress hormones like cortisol. This shift in hormone levels can lead to decreased sex drive, infertility, or erectile dysfunction. If you or your partners’ libido and energy are a concern, do not hesitate to ask us about our Biote services we offer here at Maxim Medical!


4. It’s Easier To Gain Weight


Exactly how lack of sleep affects our ability to lose weight has a lot to do with our nightly hormones. The two hormones that are key in this process are Ghrelin and Leptin. Ghrelin is the hormone that tells you when to eat. When you are sleep-deprived, your body produces more ghrelin. On the other hand, Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating. When you are sleep deprived, your body produces less leptin. Thus, a high production of ghrelin, plus less leptin equals out to increased weight gain. What also doesn't help is that your body is sleep-deprived which equates to a slower metabolism.

5. Your Skin Health Suffers


If all these reasons aren’t enough to put a few more hours in your sleep schedule, maybe knowing that your appearance is greatly affected by how much sleep you get (or lack thereof). Getting the right amount of sleep (about 6-8 hours) per night will not only result in fewer wrinkles, but will result in less puffy eyes, a glowing complexion, healthier hair, and a generally more happier appearance. Who doesn’t want that? 

The best part is that these results are able to be seen and felt even after one day of proper rest. After about two weeks, your overall vibe will be much more positive. Here at Maxim Medical, we want you to feel and look your absolute best. That’s why we offer many treatments specifically made to promote healthy skin and overall happiness. If you’d like to learn more about our PRP treatments and Hydrafacial services, don’t hesitate to contact us today at 954-945-2909! 

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