8 consequences of lack of sleep

8 consequences of lack of sleep

lack of sleep, Overweight, Diabetes, Cardiovascular diseases,Mood disorders, Cancer, digestive problems, Neurodegenerative diseases, your health, Harbouchanews

Overweight, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, digestive problems... these are some of the consequences of a lack of sleep or poor quality sleep.

When politicians or certain intellectuals are asked how they manage to do so many things, they classically answer "I sleep little". And in a world where artificial light is not lacking, it can be tempting to nibble away at night. This is how some people come to completely disrupt their natural cycles and accumulate lack of sleep.

Others have been sleeping badly for years, without finding a solution, because of undiagnosed sleep apnea or chronic insomnia . And without knowing it, all of them put their health at risk. Indeed, according to a study published in the journal Sleep Medicine in August 2016, which analyzed 153 sleep studies involving a total of more than 5 million people, a short sleep duration is associated with greater mortality (this is the strongest link found), diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and obesity. Let's look in more detail, with scientific studies, the consequences of chronic lack of sleep on health.


This is probably the result of the most documented lack of sleep: when you don't get enough sleep, you get fat. This is mainly explained by the fact that one then tends to eat more, and more particularly caloric foods. And as we move the same, or even less, it leads to weight gain. According to a meta-analysis of studies on the consequences of partial sleep deprivation on energy balance, little sleep would lead to eating 385 kcal (calories) more without the energy expenditure varying. People who do not sleep enough would ingest more fatty foods, less protein (no variation for carbohydrates). In adolescents, on the other hand, lack of sleep leads to a greater consumption of sugary foods.

In children, as in adults, the link between chronic sleep deprivation and obesity is well established.


Chronic lack of sleep seems to lead, according to scientific studies, to a decrease in insulin sensitivity and a greater risk (of 37% on average) of developing type 2 diabetes. Loss of insulin sensitivity explains weight gain and is one of the first stages of diabetes. In addition, in people who are already diabetic, sleep disorders are accompanied by a deterioration in blood sugar control. Results: more complications. Sleeping well therefore seems crucial when you are at risk of diabetes (family history, overweight, high blood sugar ...) or diabetic.

Cardiovascular diseases

For scientists, chronic lack of sleep induces different types of biological effects, including an increase in oxidative stress and impaired inflammatory response, mechanisms involved in cardiovascular disease. And epidemiological studies show that chronic sleep deprivation is associated with coronary heart disease, hypertension and arrhythmia (regardless of economic or demographic factors). Sleeping little, or conversely too much, can also increase the risk of having a stroke according to a recent European study.

Mood disorders

Sleep and depression are strongly linked, there is ample evidence to support this. People with depression tend to sleep too long. Depriving these people of sleep can improve their depressive symptoms. But lack of sleep can also increase mood disorders or induce depression. In this context, the link between sleep and depression remains difficult to grasp. What is known, however, is that chronic lack of sleep can worsen the symptoms of depression and insomnia is frequently among the earliest symptoms of depression.


Night workers are at higher risk of cancer, which implies that there is a link between sleep and this disease. Chronic lack of sleep leads to the formation of reactive oxygen species, thus increasing oxidative stress, which could promote the occurrence of cancer. However, studies on the link between cancer and lack of sleep are not very numerous and often contradictory. The link between lack of sleep and cancer does not seem to be really established.

The vicious circle of digestive problems

Poor sleep can lead to an exacerbation of digestive disorders via the formation of inflammatory molecules, this is the case for gastroesophageal reflux for example. But reflux, dyspepsia or irritable bowel syndrome can also affect sleep cycles and lead to chronic sleep deprivation.

To feel fit, avoid accidents, perform at work and for all the health reasons mentioned above, it is better to sleep with a quality sleep, ideally between 7 and 9 hours per night. If this is not your case, and you want to have a good night again, get help from a specialist, or apply Shawn Stevenson's program in 14 days to sleep well .

Neurodegenerative diseases 

Recently, sleep disorders have been associated with the risk factors involved in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Chronic lack of sleep leads to changes in the brain through the accumulation of beta-amyloid and Tau proteins (biological markers of Alzheimer's disease). A study that followed patients for 6 years indicates a 1.5 times higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in patients whose sleep is very fragmented compared to people sleeping well. Other researchers determined that people subjectively complaining of insomnia had a 33% increased risk of dementia in general and 51% increased risk of Alzheimer's disease compared to people without insomnia.

Further research is underway to assess the responsibility of sleep disorders in other neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and dementia.

Adolescent Mental Health 

Sleep and mental health are intimately linked. At the time of puberty, adolescents experience changes in their circadian rhythm called "phase delay" that prevent them from falling asleep early enough to get their necessary 9 hours of sleep, given the very early hours of school. The attempt to make up for those missed hours of sleep over the weekend does not compensate for the lost sleep.

While this chronic lack of sleep in adolescents leads to an increase in inattention, drowsiness, bad mood and has an immediate impact on their academic performance, in the long run it can also lead to mental health disorders (depression, anxiety) according to one study. These disorders are linked to poor brain development, including areas involved in the management of emotions, due to lack of sleep.

your health 

Previous Post Next Post