Sleep is essential for the body, as it is at this time that several important reactions take place, such as the regulation of endocrine functions, restoration of energy and brain metabolism, tissue repair, in addition to memory consolidation.
So, sleep deprivation, especially when it is chronic or happens repeatedly, can have serious he alth consequences, such as memory and learning impairment, reduced attention, mood changes, risk of developing psychiatric diseases and weakening of the immune system, for example.
Sleep is controlled by areas of the brain, and is related to biochemical and physiological events in the body, and is also influenced by behavior. In order for it to happen properly, sleep is divided into 4 phases, which vary in the form of cycles. Find out how they are divided and what happens in the stages of sleep.
Thus, several conditions can lead to changes that impair sleep, from neurological, psychiatric, respiratory diseases, or simply due to bad habits that deregulate the "biological clock" of sleep. See also which are the most common sleep disorders.
1. Tiredness and fatigue
Drowsy, tiredness and loss of mood are the first symptoms of lack of a good night's sleep, as it is during rest, especially in the deepest stages of sleep, that the body can recover energy.
2. Memory and attention failures
It is during sleep that the brain is able to consolidate memories and renew cognitive performance, allowing greater concentration, attention and performance of functions.
Thus, a person deprived of sleep for many hours has more difficulty remembering things, completing reasoning, concentrating or paying attention, presenting difficulties in making decisions and worse performances at work or school, for example.
3. Immunity drop
Sleep deprivation impairs the body's production of defense cells, making the immune system weakened and less effective in fighting infections. Check out tips on what to do to improve immunity.
4. Sadness and irritability
Sleep deprivation can lead to emotional instability, so people are more irritable, sad or impatient. When little sleep becomes chronic, a person is more likely to experience sadness and suffer from anxiety and depression.
Other mental illnesses that can be favored by sleep disorder are eating disorders, panic disorder or alcoholism, for example.
5. High blood pressure
Sleeping less than 6 hours a day can favor the emergence of high blood pressure, because during sleep there is a period of rest for the cardiovascular system, with a decrease in pressure and heart rate. in addition, lack of sleep can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke.
6. Hormonal changes
The proper relationship between sleep and wakefulness, which is the period in which you stay awake, is the basis for a regularized production of hormones in the body.
Thus, hormones such as melatonin, growth hormone, adrenaline and TSH are closely related to adequate sleep, so sleep deprivation, especially chronically, can cause consequences such as growth retardation, difficulties in gaining muscle mass, thyroid changes or fatigue, for example.
Check out other problems that can arise when we don't sleep well and what to do to improve.