A well-functioning mind and a fit body, both depend largely on the kind and duration of your sleep. If you thought sleeping is only your means to relieve fatigue, you are not properly informed; it is your body's antidote to a blissful existence. There is enough research to support this statement.
According to a research that took place at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore, it was discovered that besides poor health, sleep deprivation can also lead to faster ageing of the brain. In the study, which was published in the journal SLEEP, 66 older Chinese were made to go through an MRI scan. The scans had baffling results as the people who did not receive proper sleep were found to have faster brain ventricle enlargement which is an indication of diseases related to ageing like Alzheimer’s.
Although the research is yet to establish the role of sleep in the process of ageing, the lead author of the study Dr June lo said: “Our findings relate short sleep to a marker of brain ageing". Besides ageing faster, there are many other surprising ways in which sleep deprivation can hurt your health. Let’s throw light on some of them.
Continual sleep deprivation can interrupt the cognitive process and create problems with attentiveness, alertness and concentration. Also, when your brain does not receive enough rest during the night, it creates problems with remembering things the next day.
People who do not have a good night's sleep have lower libidos which consequently leads to least interest in sex. Men who suffer from other sleep disorders like sleep apnea have also been reported to have an abnormal level of testosterone.
Insomnia has an established link with depression. Studies have found that people suffering from insomnia are at five times higher risk than others who found peace at night. If you are sleeping for less than 6 hours at night, you are highly vulnerable to suffer from anxiety and depression symptoms.
People who experience sleep difficulties have puffy eyes and sagging skin. Besides, your skin also tends to lose its shine and fine lines begin to appear. When your body is deprived of sleep, it begins to release stress hormone called cortisol. When released in excess amount, cortisol can break the skin's collagen.
If a person is not able to have a sound sleep for at least 7 hours, he/she experiences an increase in appetite. Craving for food with high-fat content also increases.
Your mind and body need sleep to release stress and when they are unable to get the required amount of relaxation, they start to backfire.