After a shorter night’s sleep, the day can become particularly challenging… Mood takes a hit, attention drops, and headaches may occur. Although many of us have experienced this troublesome situation, the direct effects of sleep deprivation on the body are less well-known. Researchers at the Irving Medical Center, Columbia University, conducted a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, highlighted by Version Femina, that illuminates lack of sleep effects on our bodies.
Lack of Sleep: Less than 8 hours per night leads to chronic diseases
Health Insurance recommends getting 8 hours of sleep per night to maintain good health. Similarly, several scientists observed an increased development of chronic diseases (such as hypertension, stroke, and myocardial infarction) among those who lack of sleep. The study’s researchers focused on the main function of healthy sleep, namely the prevention of oxidative stress, which greatly contributes to chronic inflammation. Not getting enough sleep leads to the onset of oxidative stress. This contributes to an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the rate of antioxidants available for use by the body. Moreover, the study revealed another significant health risk posed by sleep deprivation.
The less-known danger caused by sleep deprivation
To unravel the mechanism, the study recruited 35 women who typically slept 7 to 8 hours per week, and asked them to go to bed 1h30 later than usual during the last six weeks of the experiment. They were equipped with wrist sleep monitors. The result? After six weeks of insufficient sleep, the cells surrounding blood vessels experienced a flood of harmful oxidants. What’s more, these cells failed to defend themselves by activating the antioxidant responses needed to eliminate destructive molecules, unlike well-rested cells.
The findings show just how crucial getting enough sleep for the body is, not only to feel better during the day but also to prevent long-term damage to our health. When you compromise sleep, you’re not only facing immediate effects such as reduced concentration and irritability, but you’re also running the risk of exacerbating or developing chronic illnesses over time. Prioritize getting enough rest to avoid lack of sleep effects and keep oxidative stress at bay.