Undoubtedly, good sleep plays a vital role in an individual’s state of health and wellbeing overall. It impacts people’s quality of life, their performance, and even relationships. On the contrary, a continuous deficit of sleep can result in emotional difficulties, increased jitters, excessive daytime sleepiness, lackluster work performance, amplified appetite, and even obesity. In particular, regarding physical health, sleep deprivation harms the immune system by reducing the production of cytokines, which leads to an increased risk of contracting respiratory diseases.
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The symptoms, complications, and duration of illness become more severe and prolonged. Moreover, sleep affects two hormones in the body, namely, ghrelin and leptin that control feelings of satiety and hunger (Davis, 2018). Finally, the lack of sleep causes the release of insulin and stress hormones, including cortisol, which leads to fat deposition, a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, increased blood pressure, and disturbed inflammation control.
Concerning the mental aspect, it is worth noting that since sleep deprivation leads to excessive daytime sleepiness, it impairs an individual’s cognitive abilities, especially memory, concentration, and processing information. Difficulty in learning new concepts and solving problems and tasks and forgetfulness are common signs of people with insufficient sleep. Psychological health is also significantly affected by sleep deprivation since hormones’ cycles are interrupted. In particular, individuals can have a depressed mood, fatigue, lack of motivation, irritability, moodiness, or apathy, on the contrary.
Furthermore, it raises the risk of occupational or automobile injury; for example, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving is accountable for around 1,500 fatalities, 70,000 injuries, and 100,000 automobile crashes (Breus, 2016). Overall, such a psychological state makes a person unable to take part in specific activities that require careful or durable attention or be sexually active as well as creates problems in relationships.
Breus, M.J. (2006). Sleep habits: More important than you think. WebMD. Web.
Davis, K. (2018). What to know about sleep deprivation. Medical News Today. Web.