Loss of sleep, even for about few hours a night, causes immense destruction in our body, that we cannot imagine. The effects of it seeps into every nook and cranny of biology, down into the cells, even altering our most fundamental self— DNA. Routinely sleeping less than six or seven hours a night demolishes our immune system, more than doubling the risk of cancer. Not only this, insufficient sleep is a key factor determining whether or not one will develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Numerous studies conducted, that tracked lives of thousands of fit people varying in age, gender, regions revealed that diseases that are crippling health-care systems, such as heart disease, obesity, dementia, diabetes, and cancer—all have causal links to lack of sleep.
Progressively shorter sleep is associated with a 45 percent increased risk of developing and/or dying from heart disease even after controlling for other known cardiac risk factors, such as smoking, physical activity, and body mass.
Coronary arteries are the blood vessels that wrap around the entire heart and transports oxygenated blood to it. As we approach midlife, our body begins to deteriorate and health starts to decline. The same occurs with these arteries; they begin to erode and block after a point. And lack of sleep further erodes the fabric and blocks the passage of these life depending vessels. One of the numerous ways, destruction of coronary arteries by sleep deprivation works, is as follows.
- Calcium and other substances in blood begin to deposit on the lining the vessels.
- These deposits if not cleaned regularly, begin to harden as plaques over time.
- Growth hormone—a great healer of the body—which is released during sleep is (also)responsible for cleaning and replenishing the lining of the blood vessels.
Apparently, lack of sleep shut the surge of these hormones, resulting in fatal heart stroke or failure. Thus, doctors recommend good eight hours of sleep to everyone, especially those in midlife.
High blood pressure
High blood pressure is so common nowadays that we forget the deathly toll it inflicts. One night of modest sleep reduction—even just one or two hours—will promptly speed the contracting rate of a person’s heart, hour upon hour, and significantly increase the systolic blood pressure.
Perhaps you have also noticed a desire to eat more when you’re tired? This is no coincidence. Too little sleep swells concentrations of a hormone that makes you feel hungry while suppressing a companion hormone that otherwise signals food satisfaction. Despite being full, you still want to eat more. It’s a proven recipe for weight gain in sleep-deficient adults and children alike. Worse, should you attempt to diet but don’t get enough sleep while doing so, it is futile, because then, loss of weight comes from lean body mass, not fat.
This means that if there are two individuals who adhere to same weight loss diet plan, the individual who fulfils his sleep needs, will be successful. And the one who neglects his sleep, though, will see slight difference in his weight, after a point, he will not, will have no meaning success at all.
Because, person who sleeps well observes weight loss coming from loss of fat while preserving muscle. Whereas, When one is not getting enough sleep, the body becomes especially stingy about giving up fat. Instead, muscle mass is depleted while fat is retained.
There are tons other things that lack of sleep affects, such as sugar levels, toxicity, kidney, IQ, immune system, etcetera.., The list will go on. In the end, the best we can do to protect ourselves from fatal diseases without having to know the whole background on how they emerge, is to.., simply sleep on it!.