BistroMD Health Library

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Health Tips

From tips on how to lose weight effectively to ways to combat boredom eating, this collection of informative articles covers a wide range of health topics that matter to real people, like you.

What Your Lack of Sleep Leads To

In this busy society, we have all experienced a restless night of sleep...Though the side effects of not sleeping are unpleasant to face the following day at work, lack of sleep effects are much more than feeling tired and groggy.

What Your Lack of Sleep Leads To


Sleep Deprivation Effects

The side effects of not sleeping are not only extensive but fairly broad. From accidents to physical health, lack of sleep may lead to...

...weight gain.
Lack of sleep effects hormones and energy levels. Specifically, abnormal hunger hormones elevate the urge to overeat on carb and fat-rich foods. And with reduced energy to workout, accumulating weight is more than likely inevitable.

...health conditions.
Mostly related to an unhealthy weight, health conditions and diseases can surface. Chronic lack of sleep can increase the risk of heart disease and failure, irregular heart beat, high blood pressure (hypertension), stoke, and diabetes.

...depressive feelings.
Over time, lack of sleep can contribute to symptoms of depression. Insomnia, the most common sleep disorder, has the strongest link to depression. This correlation is not too surprising, though, as insomnia is one of the first symptoms of depression. Insomnia and depression feed off of each other and create a vicious cycle - depression can keep prevent the mind from dozing off at night and sleep loss can aggravate the symptoms of depression. A 2007 study including 10,000 people found those with insomnia were five times as likely to develop depression as those without insomnia.

...accelerated skin aging.
Along with those dark bags under the eyes following a restless night, lack of sleep can accelerate the aging process. When the body is deprived of sleep, it releases more of the stress hormone known as cortisol. Too much cortisol can break down skin collagen, the protein responsible for skin's elasticity and smoothness.

...reduced cognitive function.
Sleep deprivation compromises attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning and problem solving. The brain fog can inhibit day-to-day functions and lessen productivity and motivation. Studies show these cognitive consequences can increase the likelihood of car accidents.

Catch Those Zzz's

After noticing the sleep deprivation effects, it is understandable why counting those sheep and catching the Zzz's is now a desired nightly routine. To best obtain those recommended sleep numbers, try these tips:

Turn Off Electronics
Though electronic devices may lead to a sedentary lifestyle, the awakened inactivity at night may impede on a restful night's sleep. The shining light can disrupt sleep regulation and hither the ability to feel sleepiness. For that reason, turn off the television and electronic devices well before an established bedtime.

Stick to A Bedtime Routine
A "bedtime" is not only for children, it is an influential nightly hour that may have powerful effects on the body. Forming a schedule can keep sleep and wake cycles regulated and promote an awakened and lively mind come morning hours.

Dismiss Caffeine
Well, in the afternoon and evening hours! Consuming caffeine after mid-morning hours can disrupt an efficient sleep cycle come bedtime. Caffeinated products include coffee, soft drinks, energy drinks, tea, and chocolate.

Midnight Snacking
Though snacking is generally discouraged following the evening meal, some snacks can promote a restful night's sleep or beat those annoying cravings. If you can't sleep, try these midnight snack ideas to cure your hunger!

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