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Sleep Deprivation Symptoms

Sleep deprivation symptoms
such as:
  • Immune system impairment
  • Obesity and impaired digestion
  • Diabetes
  • Hormonal imbalance
may result from prolonged sleep loss.

Immune System Impairment

The lack of sleep has adverse effects on the immune system and makes the sufferer more susceptible to infections.

Sleep deprivation symptoms - immunization

Also sleep loss may affect a response to a vaccination.

One flu immunization study showed 50% more antibodies in response to flu vaccine in individuals who had adequate sleep one day prior to vaccination in comparison to individuals who were sleep deprived.

Obesity and Impaired Digestion

It may be shocking to some people that how much you sleep may affect your weight. One study conducted on about 10,000 adults showed that there were significantly more obese people among those who slept less than 7 hours a night. 

Sleep deprivation symptoms - obesity

People who were not getting sufficient sleep were more hungry.

As a result of an increased appetite they overate exceeding their caloric demands.

In addition they were usually craving foods high in calories and low in nutrients.

The scientists suspect that sleep deprivation may influence the level of some hormones such as leptin - regulating hunger and appetite and cortisol - regulating stress.

Cortisol, is normally low in the evening when our body is getting ready to relax. However, in individuals with sleep deprivation, the level of cortisol is elevated in evening hours. An elevated cortisol level increases the release of insulin which promotes fat storage in our body.


Sleep deprivation symptoms - diabetes

There are some findings showing that lack of sleep affects the sugar metabolism and causes a higher than normal glucose level, which may eventually lead to diabetes.

Even if you are perfectly healthy, after one week of severe sleep loss (sleeping about 4 hours per night) you may put yourself in a pre-diabetic state.

Hormonal Imbalance

We already mentioned leptin and cortisol level changes as an example of sleep deprivation symptoms.

Sleep deprivation symptoms - growth hormone

Another example is a growth hormone which is being released by the brain mainly at night during sleep.

This fact is associated particularly with children and young adults as this may affect growing and repairing damages caused by harmful factors like stress or ultraviolet rays.

According to some new findings light exposure at night throws hormone levels out of balance, so women exposed to it may have a higher risk of breast cancer.

In addition to all above sleep deprivation symptoms we have to mention that a sleep deficit may also accelerate the aging process.

Summary and solutions

Sleep deprivation may affect negatively the quality of life, put your safety in jeopardy and actually shorten your life.

If you have any of sleep deprivation symptoms or warning signs, don't ignore them. Make sure to reserve the adequate time for your sleep every night, revise your lifestyle and bed habits and check our tips for good sleep . 

You will be surprised how much you can achieve by making some, even small changes to your lifestyle. 

You may want to try using some sleep aids for a short period of time.  However be aware that they are not intended for sleep deprivation treatment.  Talk to your doctor or other health care provider and together work out some plan to help you get back on the right track.  It’s been proven that sufficient sleep time improves the quality of life and makes you a happier person.


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