Thanks for joining us for part two in our series on why sleep loss sucks. If you’re new to this series, part one explained how sleep deprivation can be an extreme safety hazard, as well as the many medical problems that can come from it. To go back and read over part one, click here.
Part two will focus on other harmful side-effects of sleep loss, like how it can make you depressed, and affect your ability to lose weight.
Why Sleep Loss Sucks!
Constant Sleepiness Makes You Depressed
That’s right, if you’ve been missing a lot of sleep and have also been feeling really depressed, there could be a correlation. A company called Sleep in America took a poll in 2005 and found that people diagnosed with depression or anxiety were more likely to get less than 6 hours of sleep per night.
Insomnia is the most common of the sleep disorders. It has a very strong link to depression and is often one of the very first symptoms. In fact, a 2007 research study concluded that out of 10,000 participants, those suffering from insomnia had a greater risk of developing depression that was five times higher than those without the disorder.
Insomnia and depression go hand-in-hand. They feed off each other. When you cannot sleep, it makes you more depressed, and when you’re constantly depressed, you just can’t sleep. However, treating insomnia properly also helps treat the symptoms of depression as well.
No Sleep, Bad Skin
You know how worn down you look after a rough night of no sleep? Well the facts are that excessive sleep loss can lead to more wrinkles and lines, dark circles under the eyes, and bad skin. You see, not getting enough sleep puts enormous stress on your body. When we are stressed out, our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol. Overtime, excessive amounts of cortisol breakdown the protein that keeps our skin looking smooth and elastic. This protein is called collagen.
Also, losing out on sleep means our bodies cannot repair themselves properly. Sleep expert Phil Gehrman, PhD., says that “It’s during deep sleep — what we call slow-wave sleep — that growth hormone is released,” and that “It seems to be part of normal tissue repair — patching the wear and tear of the day.”
Missing Out on Sleep Can Make You Gain Weight
A 2004 study states that people who sleep less than six hours a day were almost 30% more likely to become obese than those who got seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you are into fitness, or trying to lose weight, then be sure to set aside time to get the best sleep that you can. Make it a priority.
When you don’t sleep, you also have a bigger appetite and want to eat more. One research study recently found a link between sleep and the chemical peptides that regulate our appetites. The author said, “Ghrelin stimulates hunger and leptin signals satiety to the brain and suppresses appetite,” and that “Shortened sleep time is associated with decreases in leptin and elevations in ghrelin.”
So if you are struggling to lose weight, or have started gaining it all back, take a look at how much you’re sleeping.
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