Lack of Sleep Side Effects
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Lack of Sleep Side Effects

With pharmacists filling more prescriptions for sleep aid and more and more individuals complaining of sleeplessness, concerns about the health risks of both sleeping pills and sleeplessness have elevated drastically.

We have all felt the sting of a poor night’s sleep. With endlessly busy lives full of forty hour work weeks, carpools, dentist appointments, school, family, friends, and so much more, it is nearly impossible to avoid late nights and early mornings. But there is no doubt that prolonged sleeplessness can have some very serious and very negative effects on our bodies and our minds. More and more often, individuals with chronic sleeplessness are turning to prescription sleep medications for aid. The following lists the most severe and dangerous side effects Lack of Sleep can have:


1. Death: While sleeplessness has not been proven to actually cause death, there are several factors involved with insomnia and poor sleeping habits that may. Those who suffer from sleeplessness are significantly more likely to turn to alcohol abuse and substance abuse. Moreover, individuals who regularly get little to no sleep are far more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression. With the combination of alcohol and controlled substances and depression, insomnia can have some very dire consequences. Generally, experts believe that the body would merely shut down and sleep, before an individual would actually die from not sleeping. However, there has been very little research actually performed around this hypothesis because the experiment is just too dangerous.

2. Psychosis: One of the most troublesome side effects of severe sleep deprivation is psychosis. When an individual suffers from psychosis they are often described as having a complete break from reality. They may experience personality changes or hallucinations. When associated with sleep deprivation, psychosis is usually only temporary, but it can lead to some very serious issues. Accompanied by psychosis an individual may experience severe depression and anxiety as well. These conditions drastically impair an individual’s ability to perform everyday tasks and worsen an individual’s quality of life.

3. Obesity: It is no secret that obesity rates throughout America have escalated into a huge problem in recent years. Many health experts are calling the current obesity trend throughout the country an epidemic. Several studies preformed over that past decade have shown that individuals who sleep less are more likely to overeat and, therefore, more likely to become obese. Furthermore, stress and depression (two side effects of sleeplessness) have been shown to contribute to an individual’s weight gain. Obesity is a very dangerous condition. Experts have calculated that obesity is not only more expensive for both the country and an individual than smoking cigarettes, but is also more deadly than smoking cigarettes. While (of course) one night of not sleeping will not make you obese, a constant lifestyle of sleeping too little may.

4. Type 2 Diabetes: Numerous studies have shown that a person suffering from sleep deprivation is much more susceptible to developing Type 2 Diabetes than a person who gets an adequate amount of sleep each night. It is important to note, however, that this result is only associated with chronic insomnia, not just poor sleeping habits. Type 2 Diabetes is a very serious condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is associated with several other debilitating conditions as well, including hypertension, high cholesterol, blindness, kidney failure, obesity, and many more.

5. Suppressed Immune System: Lack of sleep affects almost all aspects of our physiological and psychological health. Sleeplessness has a negative effect on our body’s ability to heal itself. In other words, insomnia and frequent sleepless nights may lead to a decrease in your immune system’s ability to function properly. A weakened immune system (as one might imagine) can lead to several very serious complications. For example, in the study linked to above, individuals who received less than seven hours of sleep a night were almost three times more likely to develop the common cold than those who received eight or more hours of sleep. Even more worrisome, a weakened immune system can lead to chronic disease and severe infections. Several studies have put forth data that suggests a link between the production of disease-fighting cells (white blood cells) and adequate sleep.

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Comments (14)

I always lack of sleep.. The effect is I always get headache and spinning.


I always lack of sleep.. The effect is I always get headache and spinning.

Ranked #184 in Healthy Living

Well written article. One more thing that insomnia and lack of sleep can cause: Death by falling asleep while driving! Just something I thought of, and have been susceptible to.

Useful and informative article. We must get our Z"s . Sufficient sleep is necessary for good health. Thanks for posting

I agree. This 40-hour work week drains so much of your energy that there should be times you should take a break.

Very informative. Voted up.

Interesting article on the effects a lack of sleep can have. Out of votes so I will return later.

thanks John

Well composed with wisdom and I read it with great interest.

Ranked #85 in Healthy Living

Lack of sleep can cause side effects a great deal more serious than I imagined. Thank you for this very informative article.

Thank you for the information, voted up. : )

Stopped by to DIGG this great article.

Very true, thanks for the information Sudhir.

There is a condition called Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI) a genetic disorder that causes death. It is rare, but I actually know someone who was doing research on it. Good article - thanks.