Another unfortunate side effect of not getting enough sleep is a change in your overall mood. It can be something as simple as irritability, or something more serious like depression and suicidal thoughts. If you already suffer from a mental illness, your symptoms can worsen. You deserve to be happy and healthy, so we strongly encourage you to take time for yourself and get to bed early.
4. Weight Gain
Yes, a lack of sleep can lead to some extra pounds for several reasons. For one, no one feels like taking the time to cook a nutritious meal when they’re exhausted. What’s the easiest thing to do? Takeout, of course! While indulging in takeout every so often keeps us sane, it’s always best to cook meals from home. When you prepare your own dinner, you can control exactly which ingredients are used (and how much).
Michael Breus, PhD, the clinical director of the sleep division for Arrowhead Health in Glendale, Arizona, discussed with WebMD how specific hormones are affected by a lack of sleep: “Ghrelin is the ‘go’ hormone that tells you when to eat, and when you are sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin,” Breus says. “Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, and when you are sleep deprived, you have less leptin. You are eating more, plus your metabolism is slower when you are sleep-deprived.”
5. High Blood Pressure
One of the most serious possible side effects of sleep deprivation is high blood pressure, which can lead to a heart attack. The Mayo Clinic notes that sleeping less than six hours a night can increase your chance of developing this medical issue. Sheldon G. Sheps, M.D. explains the reason behind this: “It's thought that sleep helps your blood regulate stress hormones and helps your nervous system remain healthy. Over time, a lack of sleep could hurt your body's ability to regulate stress hormones, leading to high blood pressure.”
If you struggle with stress, we recommend reading this.