We all want to get a good night’s sleep. You feel more energetic, better able focus and generally feel better the next morning. There is increasing evidence that good sleep is essential for long-term health.
Although the body can sometimes cope with staying up later than usual, it will eventually become a problem if it is repeatedly or chronically denied sleep.
These are some long-term health issues you may be more at risk for if you don’t work those hours:
1. Anxiety and Depression
Studies show that chronically ill people are more likely to have chronic pain. insomnia Higher rates of Depression and anxiety Dr. Khan says that insomnia is more common in people with insomnia than in those who haven’t been diagnosed. According to estimates, 15-20% of insomniacs will eventually develop major depression.
The Relationship between mood and sleeping It is multidirectional and complex. This means that anxiety and depression can both worsen sleep and can negatively affect mood. According to a February 2019 review in the The, insomnia is a risk factor for depression in all ages.
Khan says that while separate treatments may be necessary to treat sleep problems, anxiety, or depression, in some cases, improving your sleep can also help improve your mood. In August 2018, a meta-analysis of 23 studies was published. Depression and anxiety That looked at the effects Treatment for insomnia The treatment of insomnia can have a positive impact on mood, according to research on depression.
2. Type 2 Diabetes
Khan says that poor sleep quality or sleep duration have been shown to be linked with lower blood sugar control in both and diabetics . She also says that it can increase the risk of developing diabetes.
A recent study was published in September 2020. Diabetologia According to a study, insomnia could increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 17 percent.
3. Obesity and Weight Gain
Research suggests that insufficient sleep can cause metabolic changes. obesity CDC observational studies on sleep duration and obesity rates have shown a link between chronic metabolic disorder and insufficient regular rest.
This link is especially strong for children.
Women who slept less often were 30% more likely to gain 30 pounds during the study than those who slept longer.
4. Hypertension, Heart Disease, Stroke
The American Heart Association (AHA), includes sleep in its list of modifiable elements that can improve your heart health. This list is called “Life’s Essential 8” and is published by the journal Circulation . This list includes diet, exercise and tobacco use. It also includes blood sugar, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood glucose levels, and weight.
Study in large numbers of people has shown that poor sleep can be compared to heart attacks. Stroke According to the Heart Foundation, studies have shown that poor sleep can be linked to heart problems.
In June 2020, a study was published. PLoS Biology It was possible that worse sleep could cause heart problems. The study showed that sleep fragmentation, which is repeated awakenings throughout the night that interrupt sleep, was linked to inflammation in the arteries (specifically white cells called monocytes or neutrophils). Atherosclerosis Plaque buildup on the walls of the arteries.
Evidence also shows that sleep disorders can cause heart problems. They tend to have a lower quality or shorter sleep time. Khan says that people with obstructive sleeping apnea (OSA), are at greater risk for hypertension and heart attack.
5. Kidney problems
Khan says that the link between kidney health and sleep has not been established as well as that between sleep and chronic conditions. She says, “There have been some preliminary studies, but it is still necessary to explore the relationship further.”
According to 2018 research, chronic insomnia was linked with the progression and development of chronic kidney disease but not death from any cause. Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
6. Cognitive Problems, Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Types Of Dementia
Veasey says, “We’re finding that injury from poor or insufficient sleep doesn’t always show up immediately. But it can lead to changes later in life that look like Alzheimer’s disease and injury at the hippocampus. She adds that the hippocampus is a critical area for memory and learning.
An article published in January 2019 in the journal. Translational Medicine For example, researchers found that people older than 65 who had less deep sleep than the rest had higher levels of tau protein. This is associated with Alzheimer’s disease progression.
In subsequent research published March 2020, the same effect was also found in younger people. Neurology .
Research published in April 2018 found that sleep deprivation is linked to an increase in beta-amyloid, a protein linked with Alzheimer’s disease. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences This effect can occur after one night of sleep deprivation.
Veasey’s research team published their animal model research in the November 2018 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience It was suggested that the damage that accumulates is permanent and cannot be repaired by subsequently sleeping more or enough, even for longer periods.
7. Impaired Immune Function
Khan says that not getting enough sleep or not getting enough quality sleep can lead to a decrease in your immune system’s ability to fight infections. Khan says that there is evidence to support the idea that sleep is good for your immune system. He also believes that poor sleep is associated with higher risk of infection.
One study was published in January 2017. Sleep For example, a study of 11 pairs of twins’ blood samples revealed that the sibling with more sleep had a lower immune system than the one who slept well.
An earlier study showed that those who slept less than six hours per night were less likely to develop antibodies to the standard three-dose dose. hepatitis B vaccine were significantly more likely not to be protected by the vaccine than people who slept more than seven hours per night.
There is also evidence to suggest that sleep plays an important role in the immune system’s functions (growth and production various immune cells).
8. A Less Healthy Gut
The gut microbiomeAll microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi, that can be found in the gastrointestinal tract. In June 2018, research was published in The BMJ It has been suggested that the greater the diversity of the microbiome, for overall health, the better. In conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, lower levels of bacteria have been observed. IBS Type 1 and type 2, obesity, and Psoriatic arthritis .
Khan states that there are studies suggesting that sleep patterns, such as those experienced by night workers, can have an impact on your gut health. Research published October 2019. PLoS One The study of the microbiomes from 26 men revealed that total microbiome diversity was negatively related to increased sleep efficiency, while total sleep time was negatively associated with waking up after sleeping.
In the paper, the authors conclude that “the diversity of the gut microbiome promotes improved sleep.”