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The consequences of insomnia

Here are a few more reasons why insomnia shouldn't be ignored. Before reading any further, let us remind you that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50-70 million US adults aren't getting enough sleep.

Insomnia compromises your immune system

Those who get only four hours of sleep each night for a week produce half the number of flu antibodies after receiving a flu vaccine compared to those who sleep between seven and eight hours.

Insomnia may lead to depression

A two year study involving over 10,000 participants found that getting less than six hours of sleep led to feelings of anxiousness and sadness. Furthermore, sleep deprivation can lead to depression since a lack of sleep can lead to chemical changes in the brain that affect mood.

Insomnia can cause high blood pressure

Getting less than six hours of sleep each night can almost double your risk of developing high blood pressure.

Insomnia can lead to heart disease

A study found that women who slept for five hours or less each night had higher levels of CRP - a marker for heart disease.

Insomnia may cause diabetes

Research suggests that poor sleep can lead to insulin resistance, which could lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.

Insomnia makes you gain weight

One study found that those who slept five hours per night for two weeks burned more muscle and less fat than those who slept for eight hours. Another study found that getting less than five hours of sleep can cause excess weight to accumulate around your mid-section due to the higher levels of cortisol in the body after reduced sleep.

Insomnia makes you look old

Just one night of sleep deprivation can make fine lines and wrinkles more visible, since even the loss of one night's sleep can dry the skin and leave it less elastic.

Many insomniacs know everything we've shared above. Now it's time for us to educate those who are lucky enough to enjoy consistent, quality sleep. We really need to do a better job in educating the general public about insomnia and its potentially devastating consequences.

Source: MSN Health

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Last updated: January 27, 2012

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

Leave a Comment

  • A. Marina Fournier
    January 27, 2012, 11:15 pm

    I’m not denying that insomnia, or rather the stress of insomnia and of non-restful sleep, has contributed to my ills, but it isn’t the only factor in the ones listed above. Genetics has a great deal, at the base of things, to do with my acquisition of these ills.

    √Insomnia compromises your immune system
    Not so much me, mostly. I have not had flu for can’t remember how long, and I have never had a flu shot. My immune system got vigorously recharged when my son was a toddler. I get maybe one cold a year, and bronchitis is not common anymore for me, but that was decades ago–I stopped burning the candle at both ends between Feb and May, and that was that.

    √Insomnia may lead to depression
    Me, but it’s genetic. Of course, if you have a genetic likelihood of a depression spectrum disorder, insomnia only makes it worse.

    √Insomnia can cause high blood pressure
    Me again. If your genes are up to it, and possibly if not (my father’s are to blame)

    √Insomnia can lead to heart disease
    Me again: if your genes indicate a possibility, if not, I bet they didn’t do that arm of the research

    √Insomnia may cause diabetes
    Lots of diabetes in my family–and they mostly slept fine. Erm, I’d say can afford diabetes a better chance of happening. uase it alone? Don’t think so.

    >poor sleep can lead to insulin resistance…
    Me, while pregnant and after, but especially in pregnant women, or trying for a child women. Admittedly, age, weight, and family history of diabetes II were factors for me as well, but usually one is tested for GDM at 22-26 weeks, not at 8, as I was.

    √Insomnia makes you gain weight
    I’m not sure how much my insomnia contributed to my weight gain: I’d say it *can* contribute or affect the degree to which you gain, especially if you feel like sludge after a night of little, no, or non-restful sleep, and don’t move about much, but still eat the same amount of food.

    √One study found that those who slept five hours per night for two weeks burned more muscle and less fat than those who slept for eight hours. Another study found that getting less than five hours of sleep can cause excess weight to accumulate around your mid-section due to the higher levels of cortisol in the body after reduced sleep.
    That IS where most of my excess weight is packed.
    √Insomnia makes you look old
    I used to look much more younger than my age, than I do these days. The mirror probably left the attic.

    Reply