8 Nasty Consequences of Sleep Deprivation

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Sleep is defined by WHO as a recurring natural state of unconsciousness (but without loss of sensory reception) of the outside world, accompanied by a gradual decrease in muscle tone, occurring at regular intervals. Sleep-wake alternation is one of the fundamental cycles in animals: the circadian rhythm. In humans, sleep occupies about one third of life on average. It is recognized as soothing, precious and important. We often talk about the restorative effect of sleep.

No need to rely on statistical studies or laboratory experiments to understand that sleep can relieve stress, rest one’s body and better prepare oneself to face the challenges of everyday life.

One does not necessarily feel tired after a night or lack of sleep, but a lack of repetitive sleep can have deleterious effects on health.

  • And this is the purpose of the article of the day: to highlight the consequences of lack of sleep on the well being of individuals physiologically and psychologically.

Lack of sleep is implicated in the appearance of various disorders. Studies have shown that too little sleep can lead to psychological dysfunctions such as decreased concentration and alertness, as well as organic disorders such as being overweight, weakening the immune system, diabetes, high blood pressure and some cancers. Here are the main health effects of sleep deprivation:


People with sleep deprivation would be inclined to have their brain develop a higher concentration of beta-amyloid, a toxic protein that is one of the causes of Alzheimer’s. Studies have shown that it’s during deep sleep that our brain eliminates all the toxic proteins like beta-amyloid. Several short nights thus allow your brain to store toxic proteins that increase the risk of developing diseases such as dementia.

       In case of lack of sleep, the brain self-destructs. This is the frightening conclusion that Italian researchers have reached in a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience. To reach this conclusion, these researchers conducted experiments on four groups of mice. Some slept between 6 am and 8 am, others slept intermittently, others were deprived of sleep for 8 hours and the last group was kept awake for 5 days.

At the end of this observation, the researchers made analyzes on the brains of the mice, which showed that in those who slept the least, the cells that are supposed to “clean” the brain during sleep (dendritic cells) not only did not perform their role, but also attacked the synapses, areas of contact between neurons, which can circulate information. These reactions cause irreversible neurological damage.


Lack of sleep also has significant effects on the cardiovascular system. A short night’s rest prevents your cardio-vascular system from restarting, which directly raises your blood pressure.

Moreover, when we change to daylight saving time in the spring, and therefore, we lose an hour of sleep, it was observed that the fatal heart attack rate the day after is 24% higher by compared to other days of the year.

     The poor adaptation of the cardio-circulatory system to the lack of sleep would lead to hypertensive peaks and explain this increased risk of cardiac complications.


There is evidence that sleep also helps to have a stronger immune system, which helps to prevent contracting viruses. During the cold season or even gastroenteritis, those who sleep a good amount of hours on a regular basis will be more immune.


The same goes for immune cells that fight cancer cells, which are fewer in a situation of chronic sleep deprivation. Cancers of the intestine and prostate are the most closely related to lack of sleep.


Men who sleep five to six hours on a regular basis suffer from a drop in testosterone. The WSS (World Sleep Society) states that: “These men, from the point of view of reproduction, will have the sexual abilities of men 10 years older than their actual age.”

In other words, a 30-year-old man who sleeps five to six hours will have reproductive abilities of a 40-year-old man.


Several studies have shown that the mental state of a person who has not slept for 20 hours and of a drunken person are comparable. It is therefore as dangerous to drive a car after being awake for a period of 20 hours as after drinking.

It is commonly believed that once you have exceeded a 16-hour period without having slept, your mental and physical abilities begin to deteriorate.


      Fatigue is considered a major effect of lack of sleep. Its persistence over time increases the risk of depression and dietary misconducts. Serious studies exploring the development of obesity and dietary misconducts objectify weight gain one of the consequences of lack of sleep.

Lack of sleep also encourages the consumption of neurologically-toxic substances, such as large amounts of nicotine, or even in some cases of drugs, which adds morbidity secondary to lack of sleep.



  • The consequences of lack of sleep on your social contact

     Irritability is obviously one of the most visible consequences of lack of sleep. In case of inadequate sleep, there is a tendency to question any notion of interaction or exchange. We want to isolate ourselves, until the fog in our head dissipates.

This would only bring conflicts, interfere with the normal functioning of the patient in his environment and challenge our legitimacy within our environment. Worse, in a professional environment, this could foster toxic relationships and other unhealthy exchanges. The consequences of lack of sleep can be likened to a vicious circle.

  • This bad mood is embedded in the psychology and thinking of individuals, promoting negativity, pessimism and anxiety.


  • The consequences of lack of sleep on your objectivity

Not getting enough sleep is also detrimental to your own ability to think and focus. It is proven that in a state of advanced fatigue, the concentration decreases and errors become more frequent.

Lack of sleep can cause a reduction in the efficiency of your memory and learning, a loss of physical responsiveness and a questioning of the comprehensibility of your communication, whether it is oral or non-verbal.

Concretely, the consequences of lack of sleep are thus assimilated to a weakening of social bonds, inhibit the demonstration of self-confidence, prevent personal affirmation and provoke an increase of emotionality at the origin of a lesser objectivity in our choice and our reasoning.


  • Lack of sleep is a real public health problem resulting in a lack of productivity and multiple health

complications. Awareness is therefore essential to avoid or reduce the morbidity associated with this problem.

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