Not sleeping is one of the worst feelings in the world. (My editor says she feels nauseated if she doesn’t get at least 5 hours.) But not sleeping multiple nights in a row can be downright unhealthy. If you are a person who thinks you only need a couple of hours a night, you are fooling yourself and headed for serious trouble. In fact, just one night of bad sleep can wreak havoc on our bodies.
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When we sleep we allow our bodies to relax, recharge, and follow through with millions of intricate and important processes that aid the brain in achieving long-term memory, while cells regenerate and repair tissue damaged throughout the day. Therefore, miss your zzz’s and you’ll hinder all those processes. But not just that, research has even found that a lack of sleep can result in various life-threatening conditions.
1. Obesity and Diabetes
According to a study out of the University of Chicago, “fatty acids hinder the speed of your metabolism, along with the ability to regulate blood sugars,” and guess what? People who lack sleep have fatty acid buildup and that causes their metabolism to slow down.
The researchers concluded that the increase of fatty acids resulted in greater insulin resistance. When you pair that with a slowed metabolism, you gain weight. Lots.
A 2013 study from Johns Hopkins University found:
- too little sleep can cause Alzheimer’s
- and an ongoing lack of sleep can hasten the progression of the disease
Researchers found that those who experienced poor sleep each night had a greater amount of beta-amyloid buildup (a known marker of the disease) in their brains on PET scan. This led researchers to surmise that sleep was imperative to rid the body of “cerebral waste,” which can cause dementia when it accumulates.
Source: Collective Evolution