Lack of Sleep: Effects on the Mind and Body

By Kartikeya Rokde Jul 26, 2020

which can bring havoc in your life. Prolonged sleep deprivation can lead to faster ageing. 

With time, it can even increase the stress hormone, cortisol, in your body which can lead to premature wrinkles and dark circles. We don’t intend to sound so morose. But the fact is that a hectic lifestyle can get in the way of good sleep. Hope now you can understand the importance of sleep in your life?

ZZZs You Actually Need to Avoid Sleep Deprivation!

  1. Elderly (60 Years and Above): 7 to 8 hours.
  2. Adults (20 Years to 60 Years): 7 to 9 hours.
  3. Teens (13 to 19 Years): 8 to 10 hours.
  4. Children (3 to 12 Years): 9 to 13 hours.
  5. Infants & Toddlers (0 to 2 Years): 11 to 17 hours

Sleep Deprivation: Unsympathetic Future Health Risks

Ideally, most adults need about 7 to 9 hours of daily sleep. Sleep has a direct bearing on our overall well being. Here a few common health issues associated with sleep deprivation. Just to be clear, sleep deprivation isn’t necessarily a singular causing factor. However, it can be amongst the many other factors that can add to poor health. 

1. Type 2 Diabetes

Sleep deprivation is the No.1 cause of Type 2 diabetes and it is often, unheeded. The fact is, insulin, the hormone regulating your blood sugar, is released in smaller amounts when you are sleepless. In order to stay awake, the body releases the stress hormone, cortisol, making it difficult for insulin to do its work. As a result, the glucose levels in your bloodstream remain higher and are unprocessed. This increases the risk of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, especially when you have 4 to 6 hours of sleep every night, in a period of 6 months.

2. Overeating and Obesity

This is a common symptom of sleep deprivation when the usual sleeping time is less than 6 hours per night. With the release of cortisol, the other hormones in the body (along with insulin) cannot function properly. With a longer awake time, food becomes more of a routine than a means of energy. You will not enjoy healthy food and in fact, and crave for food that is high in carbohydrates and glucose. Added to this, since you will feel tired the whole day, you won’t be able to bring yourself to exercise. Consequently, you will become overweight. Sadly, this is also linked to Type 2 diabetes.

3. Forgetfulness

Another major risk due to lack of sleep is forgetfulness. Many studies show that when you sleep, certain brain waves help in transferring the long-term memories from the hippocampus to the brain’s pre-frontal cortex. With less sleep, these brain waves cannot function properly. If you have seen your elders in the family have forgetfulness, sleep deprivation is one of the common causes. 

Sleep Deprivation: How to Battle it

Sleep deprivation

Create a daily routine and monitor your sleep cycle to ensure you get the best dose of your nightly snooze

Getting adequate sleep is necessary, no matter what. For that, you need to create a setting or a routine for yourself that doesn’t hamper your night sleep. You can follow these steps below, even if you have a really busy lifestyle:

1. Avoid Caffeine and Substantial Meals Before Sleeping

    Yeah, we know, you love coffee. Just remember to have the last coffee cup before the evening sets in. It might seem alluring to gulp down one last cup at night, to keep you fresh for a few hours at night. Just don’t.

    Also, don’t eat too much at night. Eat healthy food and keep the amount in check.

    2. Switch Off your TV/Computer Before Sleeping

    Initially, you may not agree with this, as you fall to sleep with your favourite show on almost every day. But, the screens emit blue light, which reduces the release of melatonin (a hormone inducing sleep). Even LED lights seem to have the same effects. If you can’t sleep with lights off, get a dim red bulb that has a lesser effect on the melatonin release.

    3. Get a Fitness Tracker

      You heard it right, a fitness tracker will be your best companion in letting you know if you actually got a great sleep. Consider getting our advanced wearables that help you more than just giving you the number of hours you slept. Apart from the 24-hour heart rate monitoring feature that informs if the heart rate is irregular (a common symptom among the obese), the PLAYFIT SW75 checks the different types of sleep. Just wear it when you sleep and get a comprehensive analysis of your overall sleep cycle.

      Sleep Deprivation: Bid it Farewell, Forever

      At least, by now, you must have taken a resolve. With these easy solutions, you CAN fight the adverse health effects caused by lack of sleep.

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