What Happens to Your Body When You’re Sleep-Deprived

“I haven’t slept all night and feel amazing,” said no one ever. Just as regularly as we recharge our phones, our bodies need the same care and attention. Getting a proper night’s rest will allow us to perform our best wherever we are, otherwise, here are the physical consequences.

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Cognitive dysfunction
Sleep plays a vital role in our capacity to think and learn. A lack of sleep makes it difficult to comprehend new ideas efficiently, stay focused or form strong reasoning.  It also inhibits or weakens your ability to recall the things you experienced during the day.

Tummy growling?
A lack of slumber affects the way your body regulates appetite, so the less sleep you get, the hungrier you feel. The body gets a boost in ghrelin, the hunger-stimulating hormone, and a reduction in leptin, a hormone that makes you feel satisfied. And it’s not just any kind of hunger – you’ll be craving for foods that are high in fat and calories.

Under the weather
Your immune system suffers from sleep deprivation – making you more susceptible to sickness (namely the common cold).

Emotional rollercoaster
Researchers have been interested in the relationship between a lack of sleep and having a short emotional fuse. A study from the Journal of Neuroscience found that sleep-deprived participants were triggered by every image shown to them (from a series of neutral and emotional images) whereas non-sleep deprived participants were only triggered by the emotional images. As a result, it’s harder to control our emotional responses without proper rest.

Sleep = mood
The crankiness we feel when we don’t get enough sleep is all too real. Sleepiness causes irritability, anger and may lessen your ability to cope with stress. Some research suggests that this is a cause of increased amygdala activity (heightening negative moods) with a disconnect in the amygdala regulation activity (to control such moods).