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How Lack of Sleep Affects You Physically

One restless night may not seem like much, but compounding those nights can have long-term effects.

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You know that you feel kind of lousy on days when you didn’t get enough rest the night before, but the physiological effects of sleep deprivation may be more severe than you think. Not getting the rest that your body needs affects virtually all of the cellular activity in your body. Your body’s systems won’t be able to function as they should, and going without sleep also has an impact on your neural activity. Here are some things that you should know about the biological consequences of inadequate rest.

Hormonal Balance

When you’re asleep, your body regulates the levels of many different hormones. It slows production of some while increasing production of others. If you’re not getting the recommended amount of sleep that you need, your hormone levels will be thrown off balance. As a result, it can affect your mood, energy levels, and how you respond to stressful situations.

Physical and Mental Stress

While hormone regulation is one of the primary reasons that you’re more likely to feel stressed after not getting enough sleep, there are several other things that happen in your brain when you sleep that can also affect your stress levels.

In addition to the mental effects of stress, you’re more susceptible to the physical effects of stress. Stress acts somewhat like a toxin in your body. Increased levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, can exacerbate underlying health conditions and also cause muscle pain or fatigue.

Joint and Muscle Pain

While you’re asleep, your muscles have the opportunity to rest and also repair themselves after any type of strain or excessive exertion. Inadequate sleep will leave your muscles feeling stiff and sore. An uncomfortable mattress can worsen this problem because. It makes getting to sleep and staying to sleep more difficult, and it also fails to provide the support that your body needs.

You should replace a mattress when it has lost its structural integrity due to age, and consider which of the different mattress sizes will help you avoid feeling cramped or curling up in an uncomfortable position

“Beauty Sleep”

In order to look your best, you need to feel your best. Of course, you won’t feel or look your best when you’re running on fumes. More specifically, you’ll be more likely to have dark circles or puffy bags around your eyes. You may also have swollen or droopy eyelids, and your eyes will be more prone to twitching because of muscle fatigue.

Apart from your eyes, muscle fatigue may affect other areas of your face and make the corners of your mouth seem drawn or sunken in. Lastly, an imbalance of electrolytes can make your skin appear dry and alter your complexion. Dark spots may be more visible, and fine lines or wrinkles may be more noticeable.

Cognitive Function

You need a good amount of sleep to be able to think and focus clearly. It’s never a good idea to stay up all night to get ready for something important that you need to do the next day. Also, your capacity to store and access memories won’t be performing at its best when you’re sleep deprived.

Digestion

Your body doesn’t do a lot of digesting while you sleep, but it works on producing the enzymes that you need to digest your food the next day. Going without sleep can slow down your digestive process and cause weight gain. In addition, increased cortisol levels can actually cause inflammation in the lining of your stomach, causing some people to experience the feeling of a sour stomach or other intestinal problems.

You may have heard people say that they want to “catch up” on sleep. In reality, it isn’t possible to compensate for the sleep that you missed one night by getting more sleep the next night. Make an effort to get the vital rest that you need to avoid the mental and physical effects of sleep deprivation.

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