What That ‘All-Nighter’ Is Really Doing to Your Body

With recent changes in the economy, more and more workers have taken to pulling all-nighters in order to get ahead professionally. However, avoiding sleep is a poor habit that will negatively affect your mental and physical health in a number of different ways.

Weight Gain

One of the many benefits of regular sleep is that it balances out our various hormonal levels. When you use your sleep time for work, your imbalanced hormone levels can cause a variety of problems. For instance, your body will produce excessive amounts of ghrelin, which causes you to feel hungry, while also cutting back on the production of leptin, which regulates appetite and energy distribution. Over time, your insatiable hunger and inefficient metabolic function will cause you to gain weight.

Increased Stress

When deprived of sleep, our bodies also ratchet up the production of a hormone called cortisol. In addition to drawing together artery-clogging clumps of fat, cortisol also has the effect of putting your body into a fight or flight condition. While that heightened state is useful when facing a life-threatening situation, it can be incredibly harmful on an ongoing basis. Having too much cortisol in your system can cause body aches, impaired immune function and fatigue.

Inability to Concentrate

A study conducted by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health found that the longer you deprive yourself of sleep, the slower your brain’s frontal lobes will communicate with each other. That slow down will mean that your ability to concentrate will be seriously compromised. That means you won’t be able to perform tasks as simple as driving to the store or as complex as giving a work presentation.

Impaired Memory

Just as a frontal lobe communication slowdown will erode your ability to concentrate, it will also negatively impact your ability to store and recall information. This means you won’t be able to remember why you went to the market, or any specifics about the project you’re working on when questioned by a supervisor.

Emotional Instability

A study published by the University of Berkeley found that a lack of sleep causes people to become unusually irritable and emotionally sensitive. Whereas someone who is well rested could handle being cut off in traffic appropriately, someone who is sleep deprived may fly into a rage in the same scenario. The study also found a correlation between sleep deprivation and depression.

Increased Risk Factor for Diabetes<

Lastly, consistent sleep deprivation destabilizes a person’s blood sugar levels and the body’s sensitivity to insulin. As untreated unstable blood sugar and insulin levels can lead to the contraction of type 2 diabetes, it should be obvious that the short-term gains of working through the night do not outweigh the negative health effects.

If you believe that you are suffering from any of the above listed system symptoms, contact us to set up an appointment today. Dr. Shukla has the skills and experience to treat your sleep related medical issues.

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