Community Life - Cleburne, TX June/July 2020 - Page 46
Some surprising effects of
46 Community Life
Many people wish they could get more sleep.
Whether they’re professionals facing the challenges
of demanding careers or parents juggling
the responsibilities of work and family, many men and
women find it difficult to get a full night’s sleep.
A restless night here or there likely is not much to
worry about. However, a recent study from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than
one-third of adults in the United States were not getting
enough sleep on a regular basis. Routinely failing to get a
good night’s rest can have a profound effect on a person’s
overall well-being, including some surprising side effects.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, insufficient
sleep will not make a person sick any more than getting
enough sleep will prevent illness. However, the NSF
notes that failing to get enough sleep can adversely affect a
person’s immune system. That makes people more susceptible
to cold or flu. That vulnerability is linked cytokines, a
type of protein made by the body that targets infection and
inflammation. Cytokines are produced and released during
sleep, so without enough sleep, a person won’t produce or
release enough cytokines. That can throw off the immune
system response, rendering it less effective when confronting
colds and the flu.
The NSF also notes that vaccines might not be as effective
if people are not getting enough sleep. That’s because
chronic sleep loss, which refers to prolonged periods of inadequate
sleep as opposed to random nights in which shuteye
proved elusive, reduces the body’s ability to respond to
viruses like the flu. Even people who have been vaccinated
against the flu need their immune systems to be operating
at full strength to fight the flu. Without adequate sleep, the
immune system cannot perform at peak capacity.
A heightened risk for diabetes is another surprising side
effect of prolonged periods of insufficient sleep. The online
medical resource Healthline.com notes that lack of sleep
affects the body’s release of insulin, a hormone responsible
for lowering blood sugar levels. People who do not get
enough sleep have high blood sugar levels, which increases
their risk for type 2 diabetes.
Busy adults often sacrifice sleep to meet the demands of
everyday life. But such sacrifices can produce some surprising
side effects that may make men and women reconsider
their daily sleep routines.