How does a lack of sleep affect your body’s performance

Many people now suffer from sleep problems involving a nightly startle and restless hours, which reduces the ability to concentrate and increases the tendency to feel depressed and chronic daytime tiredness.

Symptoms you may face from a lack of sleep

Restful and deep sleep is essential for the human body. Overnight, the body comes to rest and can gather the necessary energy for the often hectic everyday life to meet the daily demands. More and more studies indicate that too little sleep can have a negative effect on health.

The negative impacts of a lack of sleep

If the body lacks its nightly rest phases, the following symptoms can occur in the short term:

  •     Exhaustion
  •     Fatigue
  •     Lack of concentration
  •     Performance weakness
  •     Visual impairment
  •     Headache
  •     Increased tension
  •     Mood impairments
  •     Increased error tendency

These symptoms have consequences and can have an impact on professional and private life. Both the body and well-being suffer from the situation, and active participation in everyday life is challenging for those affected resulting in an overall drop in quality of life

In the long term, this can have a considerable influence on health and can manifest itself in diseases, among other things.

Sleep and weight loss

    Recent studies indicate that sleep duration influences body weight. Sleep deprivation thus increases the risk of being overweight and subsequently, developing obesity or diabetes mellitus type 2.

Overweight is caused by an imbalance between energy intake and energy consumption. This can be counteracted with a balanced diet and sufficient exercise. A good night’s sleep is also part of a health-promoting lifestyle, giving you the energy you need to move. In cases of fatigue, spontaneous movement is reduced, and the body temperature is lowered, resulting in a lower basal metabolic rate.

In addition, studies show that the length of sleep in humans has an influence on the hormones that regulate appetite. Too little sleep reduces the concentration of leptin and increases the concentration of ghrelin and thus, increases appetite researchers suspect (Bechthold & Leschik-Bonnet, 2010 & Chaput J-P et al., 2008). However, further prospective studies are still necessary.

However, the German Society for Nutrition points out that, like diet and exercise, sleep is an important pillar of a healthy lifestyle. Sufficient and restful sleep can normalize leptin and ghrelin concentrations. As a result, people are less tired, not as hungry and more motivated to exercise. More attention should therefore also be paid to sleep in terms of weight management (Bechthold & Leschik-Bonnet, 2010).

The German Medical Journal sees more and more diseases in connection with sleep deprivation. Among other things, sleep deprivation can even increase pain or the risk of cardiovascular disease (Ärzteblatt, 2019).

Sleep has a lasting effect on the quality of life and should therefore be given proper attention as to promote good sleep habits and health.

Regeneration and sleep is essentially winding the watch, it prepares the body for a day full of activity and productivity.

Sleep Myths

Myth number 1: Those who sleep well do not wake up at night.

It is normal to wake up at night every now and then – this is part of healthy sleep. If it happens now and then, you should not be put off by it.

A little tip: Don’t let it stress you when you wake up at night. Stay relaxed. It is often better to keep your eyes on the clock and try to sleep again without being distracted or annoyed.

Myth number 2: Sleeping before midnight is the best.

The proportion of deep sleep is highest in the first third of sleep, regardless of when you fall asleep. So if your bedtime is 9 pm, then that may be true, but it’s relative less to our clock on the wall, and more to when you began sleeping.

Myth number 3: Everyone needs 8 hours of sleep.

Here, no general statement can be made. This depends strongly on the state of health and level of activity of the individual. It can be observed that people without sleep problems sleep between 6 and 12 hours (MediClin, 2014).d

Expert Sleep Tips for a Restful Night

For a restful sleep it is recommended to introduce sleep rituals. There are various ways to integrate these into the evening and thus promote healthy sleep:

  •     Regularly getting up and going to bed.
  •     Limit daytime sleep to 15 or 20 minutes maximum.
  •     No heavy meals at late hours for sensitive metabolism.
  •     Abstaining from alcohol and nicotine before going to bed.
  •     Create a feel-good atmosphere in the bedroom, if possible do without the television or generally avoid distractions.
  •     Remove watches and clocks from the direct field of vision.

It is also advisable to rest and finish the day one hour before going to bed. It often helps to put out a notebook. Here you can write down important notes before going to bed. You could think of this as a diary or journal.

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