Is Sleep Deprivation Messing Up Your Hormones?
At some point or the other, all of us have been thrilled to reside in a city that never sleeps. However, not many of us may have wondered – how much does my city/country sleeps. A study was conducted that attempted to measure the amount of sleep; its participant countries would get on an average.
Here are the five worst performers on the list –
1. Japan = 5 hours and 59 minutes
2. Saudi Arabia = 6 hours and 8 minutes
3. Sweden = 6 hours and 10 minutes
4. India = 6 hours and 20 minutes
5. The Philippines = 6 hours and 22 minutes
If you observe closely, you will notice that none of the countries was able to clock in an average of 7 hours, which is ideally the recommended amount of sleep to maintain optimum health.
Did you know that in 1942, 8 hours of sleep was considered as normal, whereas in the recent few years, the number has changed to 6.8 hours?
Technological advancements, a fast-paced lifestyle, higher expectations and the drive for over-productivity lead to most of us, burning the midnight oil. We may be at the receiving end of abundant benefits as a result of this practice, but a serious undertone of this lifestyle goes unnoticed. Lack of sleep combined with the prominent upsetting of the circadian rhythmic cycle can lead to chronic health issues. The reason – Sleep is an integral factor in the existence and secretion of healthy hormones. So, the next time you feel heavy in the head or cannot rub away the feeling of fatigue, it is actually the result of sleep deprivation that is toying around with your hormones.
Think of hormones as tiny messengers roaming around inside your body with a mission. These purposeful little entities are responsible to carry messages to respective organs and in turn regulate your overall health and wellness.
Different hormones are responsible for different functions and bodily processes and are all secreted by the endocrine system. So, when a person experiences chronic sleep deprivation, this system goes into overdrive and short circuits. The result? A significant change in the secretion of hormones, which poses a negative impact on healthy life processes. Let’s take a closer look at how sleep deprivation can affect your health.
YOU DON’T FEEL TRULY AWAKE
Cortisol is a hormone; whose function is to make you feel awake and lively. This hormone is generally supposed to be secreted in keeping with the circadian rhythm, which refers to how our body reacts to the sun’s movements throughout the day. In line with this, cortisol levels should be low in your body when you hit the hay at night time. Here it goes on a high-secretion mode and thereby you end up feeling more and more awake as opposed to feeling sleepy.
Sleep deprivation makes your body creates an imbalance in the secretion of cortisol, due to which you begin to feel drained all the time. It soon turns into a vicious cycle of your becoming prone to stress, depriving yourself of sleep and in turn feeling constantly tired. This hormonal imbalance is found as a trigger for lifestyle conditions such as diabetes and obesity.
YOUR APPETITE STARTS TO GO ALL OVER THE PLACE
Leptin and Ghrelin are two hormones that aid in your gut health and help keep your appetite in top shape. Leptin’s function is to suppress your appetite and is secreted majorly when you sleep, whereas Ghrelin stimulates hunger and is scarcely secreted.
Sleep deprivation tends to make you reach for more carbohydrate-rich food that have a higher content of both sugar and salt. If you were practising normal sleeping patterns, this would not have an adverse effect. However, in this case you tend to be sleep-deprived, glucose intolerant due to fatigue and prone to binging on less healthy foods. Now, these two hormones and their disbalance again point the scale towards unhealthy lifestyle conditions. So, you can surely infer from the above that keeping long hours, although may seem like it is quite the coveted lifestyle, often the opposite of it is true. Your brain soon becomes a machine with only one gear fitted in it – overdrive. Inability to clock in sufficient amount of sleep – time can lead to more frustration, higher stress levels and general lack of energy. There are high chances that it will impair your immunity as well.
If you are feeling like your hormones are in quite a tangle for the past few days, then it is about time that you relooked at your sleeping patterns. We assure you that there are only benefits for your emotional and physical health if you do. Do you often find it difficult to reach out to people and ask for help in certain high- stress situations such as these? We have got the exact tips that would prove helpful to you. Check out our blog to know more.