If you have ever had a bad night’s sleep, then you are already aware of some of the bad sleep cycle effects, even if it was only a once off. You spend the next day feeling fatigued, miserable and perhaps even short tempered and moody. Missing one night of full sleep (7 to 10 hours) is not such a big deal, but when you fall into a routine of missed sleep you create a bad sleep cycle, the effects of which can be quite serious for your mental and physical well being.
Rest in the form of sleep is a physical need of the body and it just as important as breathing and eating when it comes to the health of your system. While you are asleep your body is able to restore the chemicals balances as well as healing damage to your system. During sleep, you also forge new connections in the brain, which helps with long-term memory retention.
There are many other side effects such as poor immune system and even weight gain. Some of the obvious bad sleep cycle effects include yawning, irritability, feeling sleepy and drained during the day. When you are sleep deprived, even stimulants such as caffeine may not have the effect of making you feel alert. These are some of the first signs that you may have sleep cycle issues. Your body can experience bad sleep cycle effects that are a lot more serious and potentially devastating to your mental and physical health.
The Immune System
One of the bad sleep cycle effects includes a weakened immune system. When you are asleep, your body is able to produce natural chemicals such as cytokines which fight off infection and protect the body’s cells from harm. These cytokines are used to combat infection causing viruses and bacteria in your body. Cytokines also promote better sleep. A bad sleep cycle reduces your body’s ability to fight against illness and disease, which means you become ill easier and may also take a lot longer to fight off illness.
The Respiratory System
A bad sleep cycle affects body functions such as breathing which can actually result in even more sleep deprivation. Various breathing disorders can prevent you have a full night’s rest or may cause sleep disturbances. Not sleeping well reduces your ability to fight off infection, leading to common infections such as flu, sinusitis and the common cold.
These illnesses can also cause problems with your breathing due to blocked sinus passages. If you already suffer from a respiratory condition, not getting enough sleep can also exacerbate the existing condition and perpetuate the poor sleep cycle.
The Nervous System
Your body uses the central nervous system to carry messages around the body. When you are sleeping, your body is able to form new pathways between the neurons in the brain. These pathways help you remember new information. When you are sleep deprived, your body does not function well and you may experience cognitive issues such as poor concentration and a reduced learning ability.
There may be delays in the messages sent around your body by the nervous system, which can result in poor coordination and even accidents and injuries. You may find that your moods are also affected in a negative way. You may experience mood swings, depression, paranoia, impulsive behavior, and suicidal thoughts, even if these are foreign to you usually. Sleep deprivation may also cause you to hallucinate and experience episodes of manic behavior. Your creativity is often dulled by a lack of sleep as well.
The Cardiovascular System
Your blood vessels and heart are affected by lack of sleep due to the body not being able to complete its usual processes which happen in downtime. You may experience higher inflammation levels, blood pressure fluctuations as well as problems with your blood sugar. You are also at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Your body needs rest to heal and recover from the daily damage to your system. Your risk for strokes and heart attacks are greatly enhanced if you do not get the sleep your body needs.
The Digestive System
A lack of adequate sleep is a risk factor for obesity. The hormones ghrelin and leptin which help your body control your appetite are affected by a lack of sleep. This may make you feel hungry and also not realize when you are full. This may even stimulate late night eating and weight gain. Feeling fatigued and drained due to a lack of sleep may also result in less exercise, leading to an increase in body weight. Higher insulin levels may also occur if you don’t get enough sleep, which promotes fat storage as well as increasing your potential for developing type 2 diabetes.
The endocrine system
A bad sleep cycle effects hormone production. This can result in less testosterone development which can be especially worrisome to men. Growth hormone production may also be affected, resulting in problems with growth in teenagers and children with sleep problems. These hormones also assist in the repair of tissues and cell and the development of muscle tissue.
A lack of sleep or a bad sleep cycle which results in sleep deprivation can have severe effects on the body and mind. You may also experience an overall reduction in health and well-being. There are many ways to deal with sleep deprivation. You may want to discuss the problem with your medical practitioner as well as establish a bedtime routine to try and improve your sleep cycle and get your body back on track.