Not getting the right quality or quantity of sleep can have harmful effects on your body. When you don’t sleep well one night, you immediately feel the effects the following day. Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night to restore their bodies. However, when someone suffers from a sleep condition like sleep apnea and doesn’t use a treatment, they can become sleep deprived and experience the harmful effects on the body. Learn how sleep deprivation affects the different areas of your body.

Central Nervous System

Woman rubs her head due to a morning headache

The central nervous system acts as your body’s information highway. To keep it functioning properly, you need to sleep enough. The central nervous system forms pathways during sleep that send nerve cells known as neurons to the brain with all the new information you’ve learned. When you don’t sleep enough, these messages don’t make it to their final destination.

During the day, you will find it hard to concentrate or learn anything new. Your body might also delay signals which can decrease your coordination abilities.

Lack of sleep also affects your mental state and emotions. There’s a link between sleep deprivation and bipolar disorder, impulsive behavior, depression, anxiety, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts.

Immune System

Sleep deprivation also affects the immune system, which is now more important than ever with the spread of COVID-19. During sleep, your immune system usually produces infection-fighting substances such as cytokines and antibodies but when you don’t sleep enough, it doesn’t produce enough. This means if you are sleep deprived and get sick, your body will have a harder time fighting off the infection.

Respiratory System

If you have sleep apnea, it causes you to wake up several times throughout the night. Since you stop breathing in your sleep, naturally it affects your respiratory system. The constant waking up leaves those with sleep apnea at a higher risk of developing a respiratory infection like the flu or common cold. It can also make respiratory diseases worse.

Endocrine System

Sleep is essential for hormone production. Testosterone protection requires at least 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Without the right amount of sleep, men, in particular, can experience low testosterone levels that can affect their daily life.

Lack of sleep also affects growth hormones, especially in young children. Growth hormones are important for building muscle mass and repairing tissues and cells. The pituitary gland releases these growth hormones throughout the day but with lack of sleep, it doesn’t.

Digestive System

When you’re not sleeping enough, you likely don’t have the energy to exercise enough during the day. This can lead to weight gain and the side effects of weight gain like diabetes and obesity. In addition, lack of sleep can affect your hunger hormones. Leptin is the hormone that tells your body when it’s full and ghrelin is the hormone that tells you you’re hungry. When you’re sleep-deprived, your ghrelin levels rise and your leptin levels lower, meaning you will always feel hungry but never full. This eventually leads to weight gain.

Lack of sleep can also raise insulin levels and lowers the body’s tolerance for glucose which can result in diabetes or obesity.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Omaha Can Help You Sleep Better

If you’re not sleeping well enough at night and notice the effects of it during the day, you need to make some changes in your life to improve your sleep. If you’re not sure why you don’t sleep well and exhibit any of the symptoms of sleep apnea, we highly recommend visiting our Omaha sleep dentist for a consultation. You might have sleep apnea and require treatment. Sleep apnea treatment can help you sleep better and prevent the harmful effects of sleep deprivation on your body.

Please contact Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center at (402) 493-4175 today to schedule a consultation.