A Guide to the Long-Term Effects of Not Getting Enough Sleep

Not getting enough sleep can have short-term effects such as tiredness or trouble with concentration, but it can also have long-term consequences as well. If you routinely don’t get enough rest, you could be putting your health at risk. You might feel like you’re functioning well with only a little sleep, however, it will catch up with you eventually.

Premature Aging – Not getting enough rest can cause your skin to age prematurely. When you don’t get enough rest, your body releases cortisol. Cortisol can break down collagen in your skin, making it lose its elasticity. This can increase wrinkles and fine lines, causing you to look older than you are.

Weight Gain or Obesity – When you don’t get enough rest, your body releases the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol can make you gain belly fat, which can have a detrimental effect on your health and be responsible for weight gain. You may also gain weight because you’re most likely consuming more calories if you’re awake for more hours in the day. If you become obese, you’re putting your health at even more risk because you’ll be more likely to get diabetes, heart disease, or cancer.

Poor Judgment – Prolonged lack of sleep can affect your brain chemistry, and may leave you with poor problem-solving skills and poor judgment. In order to safeguard your brain health, you will need to get the proper amount of rest.

Heart Problems – Not getting enough rest over a long period of time can cause heart problems such as high blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack, and heart failure. If you want a healthy heart, you will not only need exercise, but you’ll need to make sure you get enough sleep every night.

Lack of Sex Drive – If you’re routinely not getting enough rest, you may find that your libido has decreased or disappeared. This is a serious consequence of too little sleep and one that could take a while to reverse. When hormones get out of balance, sometimes it takes a while to get them back to normal.

Depression – Lack of sleep over time can cause you to have trouble with depression and regulating your moods. Depression can affect every part of your life, so if you’re feeling depressed, you may need to seek medical attention.

Mental Impairment – You may find it difficult to concentrate if you’re not getting enough rest. You may have trouble reading or paying attention to someone talking. You may find you’re having difficulty organizing daily tasks or problem-solving. All of this can be helped by getting enough rest.

Higher Risk of Death – Most importantly, you should remember that not getting enough rest will put you at risk for many conditions that can shorten your life such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Not getting enough sleep will leave you at risk for many long-term health problems such as obesity, depression, loss of sex drive, and premature aging. You will also have more of a risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. In order to guard against these complications, you need to make sure you’re getting the proper amount of rest. If you are not able to fall asleep or stay asleep at night, you may want to seek medical attention.

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