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How does sleep loss impact your health?

18 August, 2021 Ananya Das

Whenever the time is, pre-covid or post-covid, lack of sleep or sleeplessness is a common condition among people. Be it a school student, university student, an employer, or an employee, lack of sleep falls on each of them due to a variety of reasons.

In some cases, sleeplessness results from any temporary disease like fever, cold, flu, or pain of an injury. But the most frequent and common cause of sleepless nights is anxiety and overthinking. Most of the above causes vanish after 2-3 days or the sleeplessness is cured by treatment for the respective requirement. But if you are compromising your night’s sleep due to overthinking or stress then there is hardly any cure to this. The tension of the future, the worry of the past, neglecting the present, all of these bring no good but take away a person’s sleep. Even with passing time if this pattern of life continues then eventually results in many health and mental problems.

Let us look at some of the health issues that result from frequent sleepless nights:

  • Causes serious health issues: Lack of proper sleep required for a healthy body exposes your body to a variety of dangerous health issues. Sleep loss causes your vitals to go wrong and disturb the circulation of blood in your body. All these result in causing problems in the cardiac and digestive system especially, leading to heart attack, hypertension, diabetes, and even stroke.
  • Leads to depression: Sleeplessness can lead to a variety of mental issues as well. The most common result of sleep loss is the occurrence of depression where the person feels completely being cut off from others and lonely. This feeling when it becomes extreme even turns into a suicidal tendency.
  • Promotes skin ageing: Lack of sleep for a continuous period can also lead to a variety of skin issues that destroys the glow from the skin. This leads to fine lines, wrinkles, and dark circles formation. Even sleep loss enhances the release of the hormone cortisol which leads to the breakdown of skin protein called collagen which is responsible for the smoothness and elasticity of the skin.
  • Enhances weight gain: Loss of sleep enhances hunger which eventually leads to obesity. Studies show that less sleep causes a reduction in the levels of leptin and ghrelin. This also stimulates the urge for eating high-fat and high-carbohydrate foods.

For a normal human body, a proper sleep of 7 to 9 hours is required. Otherwise, the day becomes very lethargic, boring, tired, grumpy, and especially foggy. You will lose all the productivity of your day if you don’t get a proper night's sleep.

Some of the identifiers to tell you that you are suffering from sleeplessness are listed below:

  • Inactiveness throughout the day
  • Yawning often
  • Feeling irritated
  • Excess sleepiness
  • Foggy thinking

After being aware of the after-effects and identifiers of sleeplessness, now let us look at some of the ways that may help to cure your condition and let you get healthy sleep.

  • Yoga, exercise, and medication: Try to include medication, yoga asanas, and exercises in your daily routine. Doing this helps your body to flow a stream of positivity in the body keeping the negative thoughts at stake and relaxes the body and mind. Performing these promotes freshness of mind and body and helps to get rid of stress and anxiety. Ultimately, it helps to sleep well and relax.
  • Meditation: If you are facing a very strong level of sleeplessness and are unable to sleep for a continuous number of days then you must visit your doctor. Doctors will prescribe the required pills to cure your condition. Taking the prescribed medicines properly at a given interval proves to be very helpful. Some useful medicines include Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and Doxylamine (Unisom) which are sedative-hypnotic medications order online also.
  • Acupuncture and Acupressure: Using this traditional Chinese technique, the causes of sleeplessness are suppressed. This must be done by any highly professional doer only to avoid any adverse health effects. This is working on a particular point technique where special attention on treating special points of the body is given.
  • Physical activities: Try to engage yourself throughout the day in one or the other physical activity. Refraining yourself from staying stagnant helps to make your body and brain use most of the day's energy and glucose. This promotes the need for rest and sleep which enables the body to relax fast and sleep at one go.