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

For many people, sleep is the first thing to go when Iife gets busy. There are so many obligations in modern society, that giving up a little sleep seems worth it, if it means you get some time to enjoy hobbies or being with the people you care about. You worked all day, so what’s the harm in staying up late to watch a movie with your partner? 

Now and then, it’s OK to miss a little sleep, just like it’s OK to eat junk food occasionally. But, just like a steady diet of junk food is bad for your health, so is a lack of adequate sleep. Dr. Michael N. Newton and his staff see patients often who are surprised by how losing sleep impacts their health. Whether you stay up late to enjoy a hobby, or you have a condition such as sleep apnea or insomnia that hampers your ability to sleep, we may be able to help. 

The link between sleep and chronic health problems

Conventional wisdom says that obesity is the result of eating too much and not moving enough, but multiple studies have discovered there’s a connection between lack of sleep and obesity. Researchers are sure exactly why, but the link continues to appear in various studies, and obesity is just one of several chronic health issues that seems to be connected to a lack of healthy sleep. 

People who sleep less than five hours per night have a far higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. It seems that sleep deprivation changes how your body handles insulin. The good news is that improving the amount and quality of your sleep can improve your body’s management of insulin. 

Other chronic health concerns that seem to be related to sleep include cardiovascular disease, immune function, whether or not you catch a cold, your cognitive function, and your mood. A growing issue is “drowsy driving” — in 2017 alone 795 people died in accidents related to fatigue. 

Along with health issues, your relationships may suffer and you may perform poorly at work if you don’t get enough sleep. All in all, a lack of sleep can lead to a lower quality of life as well as poor health outcomes. 

How to get more sleep

If you don’t have any known sleep disorders, but you struggle to get enough sleep, here are a few things that may help: 

If you practice good sleep hygiene and you still struggle to get enough high-quality sleep, you may have a medical issue. 

Common sleep disorders

There are numerous health issues that can disrupt your sleep. For example, obstructive sleep apnea is common, and can be life threatening, but people often don’t know they have it. In other cases, conditions that may not seem related to sleep at all, such as depression, can impact your ability to get quality rest. 

We treat sleep apnea, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and snoring, among other sleep disorders. If you think you may have a sleep disorder, we also provide home sleep testing, which can help determine what’s preventing you from getting the quality sleep you need. 

If you’re not sleeping enough, schedule an appointment with Dr. Newton and our staff. We can offer tips to help you establish a good sleep schedule and on how to make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary, or provide an evaluation to determine if there’s some medical reason you can’t sleep. 

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