What Happens to Your Body When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep

  • Increased risk of type 2 diabetes: Women who sleep less than five hours a night have the most risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Elevated blood pressure: Just one night of no sleep can cause your blood pressure to spike. If your sleep problems are long term, you are more at risk for long-term heart problems.
  • Weight gain: Not sleeping increases a biochemical in your body called ghrelin. This causes your body to gain weight rather quickly making exercise more of a priority in your life.
  • Short and long-term memory problems: Certain stages of sleep are needed to support nerve connections to the brain. Without these stages, you will experience memory loss.
  • Increased stress: Not sleeping one night or multiple nights can cause you to become irritable and more stressed out towards things that do not normally bother you.

Benefits of Sleep

Just by getting the correct amount of sleep per night (7-9 for adults), you will notice your mental state and physical health start to improve. Sleep is not just important for you to not feel “tired” throughout the day, but it is also critical to your health. Just by sleeping your 7-9 hours a night, you are allowing your mind to refresh and your body to rest, allowing you to wake up feeling healthy and aware. The greatest benefit of sleep is a healthy heart, as lack of sleep can cause high blood pressure levels and great amounts of stress.

What to Do if You Are Not Getting Enough Sleep

If you find yourself not getting sleep at night, it is important to take action immediately and not wait until it becomes a long-term problem. Some ways to help you get the extra hours of sleep you need are as follows:

  • Change your sleeping position: Something as simple as sleeping in a comfortable recliner, like the ones you can purchase at, can help you get more sleep by changing positions and getting your body in a more comfortable, suitable position.
  • Setting a routine: By setting a specific time to go to bed at night, you will get your body and mind in a routine, making it easier for you to get to sleep.
  • Sleep aids: Although it is never the first suggestion, sometimes sleep aids can be essential to you getting the 7-9 hours of sleep needed to make it through your day.
  • Sleep study: By having your doctor conduct a sleep study, you can find the source of your problem and start creating a plan to help you get more sleep at night instead of lying there helpless, waiting for even just one hour or sleep to come.
  • More physical activity: Even just exercising more throughout the day will help tire your body which will allow you to fall asleep faster and for a longer period of time.
  • Changing your meal plan: Trying to avoid consuming sugar or caffeine a few hours before bedtime is very critical to making sure your body and mind are both tired when laying down at night.

Reasons Why You are Not Getting Enough Sleep

There is a wide variety of reasons why people are not getting the correct amount of sleep at night. These reasons include stress, anxiety, chronic pain, depression, and many other medical conditions. When your brain is not able to shut down at bedtime, it can and will keep you up half the night or even wake you up just after a few hours of sleep making for a long day of yawning and being sluggish. This can cause even more stress on your body than needed. For individuals suffering from chronic pain, sometimes sleep is just not an option and a visit to the doctor is the only reasonable way out. At your doctors, they can assess you further and make a plan to help you get in every hour of sleep you possibly can.


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