Missing out on the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a night can have long-term effects on your mental and physical well-being.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lack of sleep is a public health problem and a contributing factor to many chronic health conditions that include diabetes, heart disease, obesity and obstructive sleep apnoea. 

Effects on your body:

Endocrine system: Hormone production is dependent on sleep. The production of testosterone requires at least three hours of uninterrupted sleep, according to the Discipline of Medicine and Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men's Health at the University of Adelaide in South Australia.

An interruption of this process can affect growth hormone production. These hormones help build muscle mass and tissues. Both sleep and exercise help the pituitary gland to release growth hormone.

Cardiovascular system: Sleep helps with maintaining a healthy heart and blood vessels, blood pressure, blood sugar and inflammation levels. It also plays a vital role in healing and repairing the heart and blood vessels. A report published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology suggests that insomnia is linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Digestive system: Like overeating and not exercising, lack of sleep is another risk factor that contributes to weight gain and obesity. Leptin and ghrelin are the two hormones that control feelings of hunger and fullness, both of which can be affected by sleep, according to PLOS Medicine.

The hormone leptin alerts your brain that you’ve had enough to eat, but without enough sleep, your brain produces less leptin and raises ghrelin levels. The fluctuation of these hormones, could be the reason for your overeating late at night.

Sleep deprivation prompts the body to release higher levels of insulin, which promotes fat storage and increases your risk for type 2 diabetes and obesity, the Department of Health Science of the University of Chicago suggests. 

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