Your doctor tells you that you need 7 to 8 hours of solid sleep each night. Maybe you nod emphatically and agree to the doctor’s orders. Sleep; yes, it’s what you’ll do to improve your health. Then you go home, put the kids to bed, enjoy an evening treat and find yourself lost in the world of Real Housewives and other mind-numbing (but endlessly entertaining) reality television. Soon you have six hours to sleep before it’s time to get up and start your life all over again. No big deal, right? Wrong. Not getting enough sleep causes sleep deprivation and it comes with very real consequences.
Increased Risk of Cancer
There are very real medical concerns regarding a lack of sleep and the presence of cancer in a woman. The more you expose yourself to light at night, the more you interrupted your estrogen production. When your body is incorrectly producing estrogen, you increase your risk of being diagnosed with cancer at some point in your life.
Higher Risk of Diabetes
When your body doesn’t get enough sleep, it begins to trigger your stress levels. Your body begins to produce stress hormones that interfere with insulin resistance. This has a big impact on the increase for your risk of diabetes. When you’re diagnosed with diabetes, you’ll be forced to make major lifestyle changes, take medication and even disrupt your day to day activities trying to manage your disease. It’s not worth a few extra hours of mindless television at night.
Increased Risk of Depression
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body becomes stressed. Even if you’re not stressed outside of the realm of getting good sleep, your body doesn’t realize it. This causes your body to feel the stress that is caused by lack of sleep, which then causes you to feel increased levels of depression.
Image via Thinkstock