Lack of Sleep: Effect On Health

Some people do all the important things in life, in order to maintain health. But totally neglect one important aspect; sleep. They eat raw foods( no meat), drink the right water in the right amount, meditate, and even engage in aromatherapy. Sleep deprivation may be self-induced or otherwise. Either way, it can lead to serious illness and even death.

People stay awoke for many different reasons. Perhaps they have too many interests or job-related obligations such as being on-call or asked to do over-time. Others work at night. Whatever the case, this can interfere with the Circadian Rhythm. The following website explains the Circadian Rhythm. http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Education/Factsheet_CircadianRhythms.htm
If you are too busy to rest consider the following symptoms that develop from lack of sleep:

anxiety
depression
lack of concentration
forgetfulness
fatigue
high blood pressure
obesity
diabetes
heart attack
mortality

Red eyes, veins in eyes, circle under eyes pale in comparison to the fact that one is writing one’s own death certificate. Kidney problems have also been linked to lack of sleep. Inmates have been deprived of sleep for questionable purposes. In many studies, scientists have found that sleep deprivation result in death for both animals and humans.
The first 24 hours are characterized by hormonal changes. Cortisol levels increase along with TSH and this causes a rise in blood pressure. On day two, metabolism is affected where glucose is not properly processed, thus creating carbohydrate cravings. You can see where obesity comes into the picture here in more ways than one; metabolism and glucose processing defect. As days go by, the body temperature drops and the immune response becomes suppressed. More results show permanent brain damage, loss of coordination, muscle twitching, altered states of consciousness, pain, sweating, vasoconstriction in fingers as serum antibodies are directed against potassium channels and nerve membrane. The worst case scenario is multiple organ failure. Oh and did I forget to mention degeneration of the thalamus? over-activity of sympathetic nervous system and endocrine system disrupts the overall function of the body, resulting in fevers, tremors and seizures, to name a few.
Those who try to function on 3or 4 hours of sleep are three times more likely to have a heart attack. Poor alignment of circadian rhythm will lead to inflammation. So it’s not just what you eat that causes inflammation. That’s why I recommend sleep in my book( -see the link below). Sleep deprivation will affect blood levels of C- reactive protein, which is a marker for inflammation. This results in damages in the lining of the blood vessels. The fancy term is atherosclerosis. That’s just a fancy way of saying hardening or narrowing of vessels, which leads to a heart attack. So you see, people, it’s not just bad “food” that causes harm.
Car and plane crashing could be attributed to more than just drowsiness. You can be awoke but have poor motor function and thus lose your coordination as a result of sleep deprivation. Sleep is necessary for body to function properly. From this you should learn that the human body was not meant to be abused by depriving it of sleep.

References include nih.gov, Science Daily, Bryan Palmer at http://www.slate.com, Scientific American Mar 25, 2002 J Christian Gillin
c by Mercedes Hawkins

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