It’s no secret that getting a good night’s sleep is essential for overall health and wellbeing. But what if you can’t seem to get to bed on time? Is sleeping in late bad for you? The answer may surprise you! In this blog post, we will discuss the effects of sleeping in and whether or not it is harmful to your health.
- The health risks associated with lack of sleep
- The effects of sleep deprivation on the body
- How to get a good night’s sleep
- What to do to prevent sleep deprivation
The health risks associated with lack of sleep
Sleep deprivation is a serious issue that can cause health problems such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. It can also lead to accidents and mistakes at work. Not getting enough sleep is a common problem in the United States, with about one-third of adults getting less than the recommended seven hours of sleep per night.
There are many reasons why people don’t get enough sleep, including stress, excess caffeine, and working late nights. But one of the most common reasons has to do with one’s sleep patterns. It is simply not going to bed early enough. People often try to make up for lost sleep by sleeping in on the weekends, but this can be just as harmful as not getting enough sleep during the week.
Sleeping in can throw off your body’s internal clock in much the same way as jet lag. This can lead to poor sleep later in the week. And sleeping in on Saturdays and Sundays may not give you enough rest, which could lead to health problems down the road.
People who sleep in often believe they are catching up on lost sleep, but instead of feeling more rested, they end up going to bed later. This can set up a chronic sleep loss cycle: a pattern of sleeping in and losing sleep that goes on for weeks.
People who sleep in need to make an effort to get more rest during the week by going to bed early, even if they feel like staying up late at night. If you frequently get enough rest only over the weekend, it may be time to re-evaluate your sleep habits.
The effects of sleep deprivation on the body
Sleep deprivation can have several harmful physical health effects on the body, including:
- Cardiovascular disease. If you sleep less than 5 hours a night, your risk for high blood pressure also increases. Sleep deprivation may lead to hypertension and higher chemical levels linked to inflammation. These two factors play big roles in developing heart problems.
- Diabetes. Lack of sleep affects your body’s release of insulin, a blood sugar-lowering hormone. People who don’t get sleep have higher blood sugar levels and an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.
- Memory issues. When you fall asleep, your brain forms connections that help you process and remember new information. Lack of sleep can negatively impact both short and long-term memory.
- Mood changes. Sleep deprivation can make you moody, emotional, and quick-tempered. Chronic sleep deprivation can affect your mood and lead to anxiety or depression, which may escalate.
- Weakened immunity. Trouble falling asleep? Too little sleep weakens your immune system’s defenses against viruses like those that cause the common colds and flu. You’re more likely to get sick when you’re exposed to these germs.
- Low sex drive. People who don’t get adequate sleep often have a lower libido. In men, this decreased sex drive may be due to a drop in testosterone levels.
- The trouble with thinking and concentration. Your concentration, creativity, and problem-solving skills aren’t up to par when you don’t get enough sleep.
- Accidents. Excessive daytime sleepiness or being drowsy during the day can increase your risk of car accidents and injuries from other causes.
- Weight gain and obesity. With sleep deprivation, the chemicals that signal that you are full are off-balance to your brain. As a result, you are more likely to overindulge even when you’ve had enough to eat.
- Poor balance. Lack of sleep can affect your body’s balance and coordination, making you more prone to falls and other physical accidents and mishaps.
How to diagnose or identify the cause of sleep disorders?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the most basic sleep deprivation treatment is obtaining enough sleep. How much sleep? The average healthy sleep duration is usually 7 to 9 hours each night.
This is sometimes easier said than done, especially if you’ve been sleep-deprived for many weeks or more. If sleeping this long is a struggle, you may require the assistance of your doctor or a sleep expert, who, if necessary, can diagnose and treat a suspected sleep disorder.
Sleep disorders can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. It may also enhance your chances of experiencing the earlier mentioned side effects of sleep deprivation on the body.
Some of the most frequent forms of sleep disturbances are as follows:
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
- Restless leg syndrome
- Circadian rhythm disturbances
Your doctor may order a sleep study to diagnose these disorders. This is generally done in a sleep center, but there are now methods for measuring your sleep quality at home as well.
If you have a sleep issue, you may be given medicine or a device to keep your airway open at night (in the case of obstructive sleep apnea) to assist in treating the disorder and obtain a better night’s sleep regularly.
What to do to prevent sleep deprivation
Making sure you get enough sleep is the greatest method to avoid sleep deprivation.
Follow the requirements for your age group, which are 7 to 9 hours for most persons aged 18 to 64.
Other techniques to get back on track with a healthy sleep routine are as follows:
- restricting daytime naps (or avoiding them altogether)
- avoiding coffee after lunchtime or at least a couple of hours before bedtime
- putting oneself to bed at the same time every night
- every morning waking up at the same time
- adhering to a regular sleep routine during weekends and vacations
- spending an hour before bed doing something soothing, such as reading, meditating, or taking a bath
- avoiding heavy meals within a few hours before bedtime
- refraining from using electronic devices right before bed
- exercising regularly, but not in the evening hours close to bedtime
- reducing alcohol intake
If you continue to have problems sleeping at night and are fighting daytime fatigue, talk to your doctor. They can test for underlying health conditions that might be getting in the way of your sleep schedule.
Sleep is important for your health. The effects of sleep deprivation are varied but can lead to health consequences and problems with memory, focus, and being able to perform tasks that require high levels of emotional intelligence. What are some ways you have found helpful in getting more deep sleep? Have any tips or tricks worked better than others? Leave a comment below!