How Sleep Deprivation Affects the Body

Asheville Alcohol Rehab CenterSleep deprivation can cause serious problems with our central nervous system. Because our brains are unable to rest, cell repair cannot happen. In addition, young adults or children who are sleep deprived can experience inhibited growth hormones. And at our Asheville alcohol rehab center, sleep is very important to addiction treatment.

While we sleep, neurons are constantly working to form new pathways so that we are able to function properly the next morning. When neurons aren't able to do so, we cannot perform well. You might have found that anytime you don't sleep properly the next day is filled with yawning and a lack of energy. Feeling sluggish and unable to keep going is a normal symptom of no sleep. Our bodies are negatively impacted without proper rest. This can also affect our long-term and short-term memory. Creativity is nonexistent and we find that making decisions is difficult. That's because cognitive function is altered.

Those who do not sleep well and are deprived also tend to have issues with heightened mental illness symptoms. If you suffer from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or other issues, the lack of sleep can trigger symptoms. Those who are struggling with substance abuse might also find that they use more when they are sleep deprived. In our last blog post, we talked about how lack of sleep can hinder addiction recovery. Without proper rest, you might be triggered to relapse.

Sleep deprivation can also cause injuries. You're more likely to be dangerous while driving, prone to falls and out of control.

There have been many instances where tragic events happened involving sleep deprivation. From airplane crashes to shipwrecks and nuclear reactor meltdowns, it's been proven that insufficient sleep can cause major accidents and injuries. If you can't sleep because of an addiction, call Legacy Freedom's Asheville alcohol rehab center. We can help you.

Lack of sleep also has a serious effect on your immune system. During sleep, infection fighting antibodies, cytokines and cells are produced. These are vital to help your body fight off infections, illnesses and more. Without these cells and antibodies, your immune system is much more defenseless than normal. Its ability to fight against illness is nonexistent.

Sleep deprivation, long term, can also cause a higher risk for chronic illnesses like cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

Your digestive system is also compromised by sleep deprivation. Those who do not sleep well tend to gain weight. Sleep deprivation is a factor of obesity.

Lack of sleep can also cause serious respiratory issues. As we mentioned, sleep deprivation weakens our immune systems. That means we are more susceptible to things like the flu and common colds. Those who have lung disease can suffer greatly without sufficient sleep. It can cause improper lung function.

The digestive system also suffers when you are lacking sleep. The hormone leptin is lowered when we do not get enough rest. This is the hormone that tells our brains when we've had enough to eat. This can be an appetite stimulant. Also, sleep deprivation can cause higher levels of insulin after eating. This will promote fat storage and could lead to type 2 diabetes.

Those who do not get enough sleep in the night tend to have higher blood pressure the next day. According to, “Since you’re more likely to gain weight if you’re chronically sleep deprived, you’re also at increased risk of problems with your cardiovascular system."

Your body needs sleep to heal and repair your blood vessels and heart. Your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke all increase when you are sleep deprived.

Below, you’ll find the most worrisome symptoms of sleep deprivation. These serious problems can lead to even worse issues:

  • Aggravated constipation
  • Contribute to premature aging
  • Halted new cell production
  • Increase your risk of dying from any cause
  • Increased hunger
  • Increased levels of corticosterone (stress hormone)
  • Increased risk of depression.
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Intensified or more susceptible to stomach ulcers
  • Raise blood pressure
  • Stimulate or exacerbate chronic diseases such as: Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, gastrointestinal tract disorders, kidney disease, and cancer
  • Worsened behavioral difficulties in children

Asheville alcohol rehab centerThankfully, there are ways to improve your sleep habits. If you're struggling with getting a good night’s sleep, consider the following tips.

Get as much light exposure as you can during the day. Try to minimize light exposure after dark. Getting an increased amount of light exposure during the day will help your body produce more melatonin at night. However, if you have too much light exposure after dark, you can still have issues with melatonin production.

It's best to get between 30 and 60 minutes of sunlight during the day. This will help your overall problem with inability to sleep. Believe it or not, the more we age the more sunlight exposure we need to function properly.

Artificial light at night is a hindrance when it comes to feeling sleepy. That's why it's important to minimize it as much as possible. Try having no artificial light, or at least block blue light with amber glasses for at least an hour before you plan to go to sleep.

If you are struggling with emotional issues, consider trying to overcome them before sleep. Those who are mad or sad tend to have problems getting restful sleep. Try to meditate or pray before going to sleep. These things can help you calm down and relax without feeling overwhelmed or emotional. If you're struggling with addiction, let our Asheville alcohol rehab center help you with holistic treatment.

Make sure your bedroom is set at 70°F or below. This will help you stay comfortable without overheating during the night. Many studies show that temperatures between 60 and 68°F are optimal.

Take a hot bath for an hour or hour and a half. This helps raise your body temperature so that you can quickly lower it, showing your body that you're ready for sleep.

Stay away from using electronic devices or watching TV at least an hour before bed. These things emit blue light. The blue light makes your brain think that it is daytime instead of nighttime. It can stop melatonin that normally begins increasing between 9 PM and 10 PM. Many devices offer a nighttime setting that will cut all blue light out. Be sure to utilize this option if you have it.

Avoid alcohol, caffeine and nicotine at least an hour before bed. These things can keep you from sleeping well.

We hope this information helps you understand why it is important to get a good night’s sleep. There are many issues that can come from not sleeping well. Sleep deprivation can be hard to deal with. However, with these tips you'll hopefully be able to get a better night’s sleep soon.

Dependable Asheville Alcohol Rehab Center | Legacy Freedom

Are you suffering from an addiction and not sure where to turn? Don't worry, there is support and help out there.

If you’re suffering from an addiction and need help, consider Legacy Freedom of Asheville's alternative therapy options for alcohol and drug treatment. Our success rate is higher than traditional rehab facilities that require you to stay in-house until the program is complete.

We know how hard it is to beat addiction. That’s why we’ve come up with a better, more successful program that will help. Addiction can leave you feeling sad, lonely, and angry. You are not alone. We can help you get back on track to a healthier, happier life at our affordable Asheville alcohol rehab center. Contact us now to learn more.

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