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The Nine Most Dangerous Consequences Of Lack Of Sleep

Is your bedtime getting shorter and shorter? Warning: Lack of sleep can damage your health in the long term. This is what happens when you don’t get enough sleep.

“I can always sleep another time” should not become your motto in life. Those who often watch series late into the night or gamble on the console must expect serious health consequences. Chronic lack of sleep takes revenge. We explain to you how short night breaks not only sabotage your training, your work, and even your sex life but also seriously endanger your health.

How Is Sleep Deprivation Noticeable?

Even after a sleepless night, your mood, concentration, alertness, and performance can suffer from sleep deprivation. Especially if your work is a bit monotonous, you pay the price for the sleepless night: “In monotonous situations, you often wander with your thoughts and struggle with microsleep,” warns Dr. Hans-Günter Weeß, board member of the German Society for Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine (DGSM). If you get annoyed with little things quickly, this could also signify a lack of sleep.

How Much Sleep Is Ideal?

“Our genes tell us how much we should sleep,” says Dr. Weeß, author of the book Sleep Works Wonders. On average, however, around 7 hours are sufficient for men. It is best to test for yourself how much sleep you need to feel fit and relaxed. Six hours should be the minimum. By the way, men need around 20 minutes less sleep on average than women.

When Does Lack Of Sleep Become Dangerous?

That, too, differs greatly from person to person. Expert recommendation: “If you haven’t slept sufficiently three times a week for four weeks, you should seek advice from your family doctor if necessary.” In the short term, your body can compensate for lack of sleep, but if it becomes permanent, the risk of serious long-term consequences increases enormously. 

What Are The Common Causes Of Lack Of Sleep?

According to Dr. Weeß in our 24-hour non-stop society: “We don’t value sleep,” says the sleep researcher. The job, the hobbies, and chats with the buddies are too often preferred to a healthy round of sleep. Smartphones, monitors, and televisions can also be real sleep robbers: “The blue light component of the screens suppresses the production of the sleep messenger substance melatonin,” explains the expert. “Added to this is the increased tension from chatting, surfing, or internet games, which then completely drives away sleep.”

What Can I Do About My Lack Of Sleep?

Start by setting priorities: If you are already overloaded with the job, you should avoid the series marathon in the evening. It is better to treat yourself to some rest in the evening and, above all, leave your cell phone behind. If you have sleep problems, you should get to the bottom of the cause: Some medications and diseases can affect your sleep.

These Helpers To Fall Asleep And Stay Asleep Have Proven Themselves:

  • Sleep masks prevent light from entering the eyes and, in this way, promote the body’s production of the sleep hormone melatonin, which lets you fall asleep faster.
  • Earplugs ensure that you can sleep through the night despite the surrounding noise.
  • Valerian capsules for the night relaxation are not addictive and are therefore more recommended than sleeping pills. However, they only work after you’ve taken them regularly for a while.
  • Fall-asleep sprays with calming ingredients such as melatonin, passionflower, and lemon balm help you fall asleep faster. Sleep casts such as those of
  • Headspace, spoken by rapper Curse and soul singer Joy Denalane, makes you tired and easy to sleep.

These Nine Things Happen When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep is a widespread problem: According to the 2017 DAK-Gesundheit health report, 80 percent of the employed people surveyed stated sleep problems. There is even talk of widespread disease. And the corona pandemic has caused the number of people with sleep problems to continue to rise. One thing is certain: too little sleep makes you sick. With these nine most dangerous consequences, you will surely appreciate your sleep more:

Your Immune System Is Weakened

Do you often catch a cold? Then you probably won’t hit yourself long enough. It is enough if you get more than 2 hours less sleep a day for 14 days: “Studies show that every second person develops a cold,” For comparison: among the rested test persons, it was only one in six. This is how sleep supports the fight against viruses

You are less efficient

If you show up to work tired, no one will thank you. Sleepless nights not only affect your concentration, attention, and creativity, your memory also suffers. There is no way you can call up your maximum performance in this way. In some situations, according to our expert, this can even be dangerous: “Twice as many people die on German roads from being tired than from drinking and driving.” Even less than 6 hours of sleep can affect your movement and reaction times.

You Develop Excess Weight Faster

A serious consequence: Nocturnal disturbances of the peace mess up your hormonal balance and make you gain pounds. Those who frequently sleep too little know the urge for binge eating probably only too well. The body then produces more of the food cravings hormone ghrelin and timeless leptin, which regulates appetite. A study by the “National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey” reveals weight gain. With a maximum of 4 hours of sleep, the probability of the study participants suffering from obesity was 73 percent higher than with 7 to 9 hours of sleep.


You Risk A Heart Attack

In the long run, your heart will not forgive you for the lack of sleep: “Numerous studies show that disturbed sleep is associated with cardiovascular diseases,”  Lack of sleep can cause dangerous chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias, and, in the worst case, even a heart attack. These are the first signs of a heart attack.

Stress And Headaches Increase

Lack of sleep increases the secretion of cortisol. The hormone begins to confuse the body, causing the metabolism to break down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Consequences: stress and headaches. Conversely, stress can disturb you when you fall asleep – so you quickly get into a real vicious circle. Avoid that by running more. Studies by the Charité in Berlin show that running training increases cortisol resistance.

Lack Of Sleep Can Make You Mentally Ill

If you are constantly tired, a bad mood is the least of the problems. Because: A common consequence of chronic sleep disorders are mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. “The sleep disorder is the first symptom that can precede depression and, conversely, disappears last after treatment,”. This will help you with depression.

Your Risk Of Diabetes Increases

Insulin injections could soon become part of everyday life for chronic little sleepers: diabetes is one of the most dangerous consequences of lack of sleep. Researchers reported in the medical journal “The Lancet Diabetes Endocrinology” a link between too little sleep and metabolic diseases. The result: After only a few nights with a maximum of 4 hours of sleep, the test subjects reduced their blood sugar levels significantly more slowly. According to an analysis by scientists, severe sleep deprivation also increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. You can read more tips on how to prevent diabetes here. But: Late risers (more than 8 hours of sleep per night) are just as at risk. So too much sleep is also taboo

Testosterone Production And Muscle Building Are Disrupted

If you want to watch your muscles grow, you have to get enough sleep in the evening. After a sleepless night, the body produces significantly fewer messenger substances, including testosterone ( every man should know this about the male hormone ). Dr. Weeß: “Athletes should be prepared to get enough sleep in addition to their job and workout – because it is essential for building muscle.”

Your Risk Of Death Increases

Men have a major disadvantage: “Statistically speaking, older men lose deep sleep . That is why there is also discussion as to whether they have a shorter life expectancy because they lack restful sleep,” says Dr. White. At the same time, diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure caused by too little sleep also reduce life expectancy. But: “Not just too little, but too much sleep can reduce life expectancy,” says the sleep expert.

Conclusion: Sleep Has The Highest Priority

Sleepless nights make you tired not only in the short term but also sick in the long term. Sleep should be high on your priority list. “The best thing to do is to throw the alarm clock out of the window,” advises the expert jokingly. Have you neglected your sleep too much lately? Then off to bed!


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