Sleep is an important part to lead a healthy life. It is vital for the normal functioning of various body organs. Sleep is required for both the body and the mind to function normally. Sleep has an impact on the levels of hormones and even a slight alteration in the levels of hormones can have an impact on the organs of the body.
As we grow the required amount of sleep changes, means that the need of sleep is different for a baby and for an adult. Recommended sleep varies:
- For a newborn baby - 16 to 18 hours a day
- Children - 10 to 12 hours a day
- Teens - 9 to 10 hours a day
- Adults - 7 to 8 hours a day
As stated, sleep is a vital part of healthy being and whenever sleep is disturbed, it causes many changes in the body and these changes can have many effects on different parts of the body. Sleep deprivation is a term which is used when an individual fails to get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation includes a complete lack of sleep during a certain period of time or sleeping shorter than an optimal sleep time. Sleep deprivation decreases the effectiveness of an individual. Some of the clinical symptoms that indicate lack of sleep or sleep deprivation include:
- Lack of concentration
- Forgetting known information
- Difficulty in memorizing new things
- Making mistakes
- High level of stress
- A headache
Normally, during sleep, important processes occur such as a rise in the levels of hormones, such as prolactin and growth hormone. On the other hand, there is a decline in the level of hormone, cortisol. These hormones are important to maintain the health.
Effects of sleep deprivation on the cognitive system
There is a strong relationship between sleep and cognitive function. The physical and mental ability of an individual has a direct correlation with sleeping habits. Failing to obtain a sufficient amount of sleep each night leads to an increased risk of impaired cognitive capability in an individual. Sleep plays an important role in learning and memorizing. Whenever an individual suffers from sleep deprivation, the ability to store information decreases. It is believed that sleep deprivation has an impact on the overall performance of an individual and this is because lack of sleep affects the memory, attention, and problem-solving skills.
Effects of sleep deprivation on immune system
Multiple studies have been conducted to understand the correlation between the sleep and immune system and it was observed that sleep deprivation is often associated with a weak immune system. The immune system in the body acts as a defensive system as it protects the body against bacteria, virus and other foreign invaders. When an individual fails to take sufficient amount of sleep, the immune system becomes weak and fails to protect the body against bacteria and viruses. This increases the risk of developing viral or bacterial infections such as a cold. There is a link between the brain and the immune system. When there are changes in the functioning of the brain due to sleep deprivation, changes in the functioning of the immune system also occurs.
Effects of sleep deprivation on obesity
Obesity is one of the common diseases whose prevalence is increasing rapidly and has become a topic of health concern. It is defined as a condition which occurs when there is an accumulation of body fat to such an extent that it creates problems to do daily activities. There are some pieces of evidence that suggest that sleep deprivation is one of the risk factors that can contribute to the development of obesity. Quality of sleep has an impact on weight. The correlation between the two is because of the link between the factors that have an impact on weight regulation and sleep. When sleep is impaired these factors are also affected and leads to weight gain. Also, it is believed that a lack of sleep often leads to an increase in the total caloric intake and an increase in calories causes weight gain.
Effects of sleep deprivation on diabetes mellitus
Diabetes mellitus is a serious disorder which impairs the quality of life. It is a common order which affects millions of people worldwide. Diabetes mellitus is a disease which is defined as a condition in which the glucose level in the blood becomes too high. High blood sugar level can impair the functioning of various organs and it is associated with many complications. Therefore management of diabetes is highly recommended.
Insulin is the main hormone that regulates blood sugar level and when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin or the body fails to use produced insulin effectively, diabetes occurs. Researches suggest that sleep deprivation can increase the risk of diabetes mellitus. Lack of sleep causes insulin resistance. Insulin resistance means an inability of insulin to produce its effects. Hence, when the insulin does not perform its function normally, the sugar level of an individual rises and increases the risk of developing diabetes mellitus.
Sleep is very important for the health of an individual and when the sleep deprivation becomes a part of normal life, it becomes a topic of concern. Sleep deprivation has an impact on almost every part of the body.
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