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What Happens to Your Body When You Don't Get Enough Sleep

Many people are deprived of sleep because of their busy work or school schedules. These people will eventually start to experience serious health problems if they do not allow their body to get the amount of sleep that it needs. Our bodies repair themselves during the time we are sleeping. It is impossible for a person to maintain optimal health if they are consistently being deprived of the sleep their body needs. Here are some examples of physical problems you may experience as a result of sleep deprivation.

1. Weakening of the immune system

The immune system is what helps the human body to fight off illnesses when you are exposed to germs on a daily basis. It is essential for your immune system to be strong in order for you to avoid catching a cold or some other illness that may cause you to become sick for an extended period of time. One of the biggest dangers of frequent sleep deprivation is your immune system becoming weaker. You will become much more susceptible to illnesses when your immune system is not functioning at an optimal strength. It will become easier for viruses to wreak havoc in your body.

2. Difficulty concentrating

The ability to concentrate is one of the first things to go when a person is not getting enough sleep. Students will have difficulty focusing on information their teachers are giving to them. It will become harder to analyze data and to stay focused on a specific task without your mind starting to drift off.

3. Memory impairment

An impaired memory usually goes along with an inability to concentrate. People who are not getting enough sleep will frequently find themselves in situations where they are unable to recall basic information they have read only minutes earlier. This can obviously have a negative impact on your job performance if you forget to perform a critical task before a deadline.

4. Emotional problems

It is common for sleep-deprived people to get irritable much more quickly than well-rested people. This type of emotional instability can often lead to arguments with loved ones that otherwise could have been avoided.

5. Difficulty driving and operating machinery

Many people have been injured or lost their lives because they have made the mistake of getting into a car and attempting to drive when they were sleep-deprived. There is a significant danger of falling asleep while the car is moving. A person's reaction time is also much slower when they are very tired. The same dangerous scenario can occur when a sleep-deprived person is operating a forklift, bulldozer, tractor or some other piece of heavy machinery.

6. A greater risk of developing diabetes

There have been many studies that have shown the chances of sleep-deprived people developing adult-onset diabetes is significantly higher than for people who are getting an adequate amount of sleep. These types of insulin production problems can be avoided by giving your body the time it needs during sleep to produce a sufficient amount.

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The content on this page is for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute professional medical advice. Patients should not use the information presented on this page for diagnosing a health-related issue or disease. Before taking any medication or supplements, patients should always consult a physician or qualified healthcare professional for medical advice or information about whether a drug is safe, appropriate or effective.