As much as we’d like to think that we are in control, especially when it comes to sleeping and waking up, research has shown that we are wrong. Whether we are a night owl or a morning person who wakes up at the crack of dawn may be habits hardwired into our genes.
So what happens, if you choose not to sleep at the time deemed appropriate by your body? Here are a few things your body will undergo over time.
Stage 1: Affects normal hormone functioning:
Normally your body produces over 50 different hormones daily. Disturbed or lack of sleep will disrupt the normal production of these hormones. For example, the Human Growth Hormone that aids in growth and cell repair peaks during sleep. Lack of sleep will disrupt this production, thus affecting your body’s natural ability to grow and repair the cells. Additionally, other hormones that control your metabolism and hunger will also get affected, forcing your body to seek more food as a means to increase energy levels in your body.
Stage 2: Instability in the levels of energy and mood swings
Sustained lack of sleep has been known to lead to reduced energy levels, which would further result in unstable moods, excessive sleepiness during the day and bursts of euphoria. While shifting attitudes can disrupt the normal functioning of your daily activities, excessive sleepiness during the day especially can be hindering and even dangerous. This can lead to frequent lapses in focus, forcing your body to seek reprieve at any time. These incidences are known as ‘microsleeps’ which are also known to be a contributing factor to traffic accidents as drowsy drivers tend to fall asleep at the wheel.
Stage 3: Leads to long-term illnesses, diseases and cancer
Your body may recover from not sleeping quickly, but if continued over a period of time, the negative long-term consequences for your health would have already set in. For instance, your immune system would be the worst hit and unable to defend the body effectively. Poor and restricted sleep would lead to the development of specific illnesses and diseases. These notably relate to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hypertension and even certain types of cancers.
By now you can see how crucial it is to ensure that you get good night's sleep on a regular basis. While you manage to function on an irregular sleep schedule, in reality, your body will be most affected. Therefore, a good night’s sleep will not only benefit you but protect you.