Sleep Deprivation Can Change You At A Genetic Level

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Whilst we all know what a lack of sleep feels like – for example you might get emotional, clumsy, forgetful, make rash decisions and so forth – did you know that if you have a continued lack of sleep over a sustained period (say less than six hours a night over a week) this can create genetic changes in you.

Over just one week of sleep deprivation like this can lead to as many as 700 genetic changes which can influence everything from your heart health to obesity. Here are some of the consequences for our bodies when we regularly lose sleep.

Increased Risk Of:

Stroke

Adults who regularly have less than six hours of sleep a night according to the HuffPost have four times the risk of developing stroke symptoms.

Inflammation

Controlled studies have indicated that the body’s mediators of inflammation are changed with sleep loss so we are more prone to inflammation.

Lack of Labido

For men – lack of sleep can lead to lower testosterone levels and libido. Interestingly it has been found that 20-25 hours of sleeplessness is comparable to that of ethanol intoxication at the level of 0.10% blood alcohol concentration.

Obesity & Diabetes

Lack of sleep creates higher levels of the hormone ghrelin which makes you hungry and want to eat more. It also limits leptin which helps you balance your consumption. People that sleep badly can often binge on food and choose to eat unhealthy fast food as a consequence. Lack of sleep also increases your risk of Diabetes by increasing insulin resistance.

General Decline and Even Death

Your brain will suffer in terms of cognitive ability, your body becomes less able to repair bone which means increased risk of osteoporosis and there may even be links to a higher probability of getting cancer.

The worst news for sleep deprived people is that it may also shorten your lifespan. One study on men in 2010 illustrated that men that were deprived of sleeping under six hours a night regularly, were four times more likely to die over a 14 year period.

Sleep apnea is a condition that means your natural sleep pattern is continually interrupted. With a CPAP machine your airways are kept open with mild air pressure which means your body can return to its natural state of sleep each night and with it – reap the benefits to your health.

///couple of main links to research – there were a few others too///

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/18/scary-sleep-deprivation-effects_n_2807026.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3548567/

 

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