The Positive Effects of Sleep

S. and I have made a list of things that we would like to do together. We wrote these things on Popsicle sticks and put them in a jar.  On the weekends we pull one or two sticks out and do what is on the stick.  Saturday we went to a corn maze.  Today we went to a carnival.  I love playing the games and have never been huge on rides.  Games, however, are expensive so Seiya and I played the game where you squirt a target to race to either blow up a balloon or get a little man to the top.  I beat Seiya and won a stuffed little pig.  Then we went on the Ferris Wheel. I haven’t been on an amusement park ride in about 7 years – before I started dealing with migraines.  I am not as comfortable as I used to be with movement.  I get motion sick easily. I was even a little nervous on the Ferris Wheel.  Then at the end we ate one of the few carnival foods that I can still eat – cotton candy.  Okay.  That’s cheating as I shouldn’t have so much sugar, but I don’t have an immediate reaction to it like I would fried dough, pretzels or hot dogs.

I seem to feel better on the weekend. I think a large part of it is that I get to sleep more.  Sleep deprivation can lead to some chronic health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.  So I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that sleep deprivation could exacerbate existing conditions.  Sleep deprivation effects the brain. It not only makes you sleepy, but it can effect cognitive processes such as balance and coordination.  It also effects your thinking processes and increases your chance of accidents. In fact, you are 15% more likely to DIE if you are sleep deprived.

Sleep deprivation effects your central nervous system.  It impairs your ability to focus and to learn new things.  It can impair both short-term and long-term memory.  It also effects decision making and creativity.  It can also increase likeliness of hallucinations and also mania in those with manic depression.  It also causes microsleeps – short uncontrollable sleeps.  These are especially dangerous when driving.

Sleep deprivation can effect your immune system.  Your body won’t be able to fend off illnesses as well and it won’t be able to recover as easily. Long-term it can lead to cardiovascular illnesses and diabetes.

Sleep deprivation can effect your respiratory system.  Lack of sleep makes your more susceptible to common colds and the flu.

Sleep deprivation can effect your digestive system.  Sleep deprivation is as much a factor to weight gain as diet and exercise because it lowers your hormone that tells you to stop eating and ups your hormone that makes you hungry.  Sleep deprivation also makes you secrete more insulin which promotes fat storage and increases your chances of developing Diabetes Type 2.

Sleep deprivation can effect your cardiovascular system.  Weight gain from the effects of sleep deprivation increases your chance of problems with your cardiovascular system.  Sleep also helps heal the heart and vessels from any potential problems.

I sleep about 6 hours a night which is not considered sleep deprivation for most, but I also have Sleep Apnea.  Almost everyone stops breathing at night while they are sleeping.  People with sleep apnea due it much more frequently.  It’s normal to stop breathing 2 or 3 times an hour when you are sleeping. I stop breathing about 20 times an hour and that’s actually not that significant compared to others.  However, I have to get eight hours a night to get adequate sleep.

I am sure science will uncover more and more ways that sleep deprivation effects people.

Here is an article on sleep deprivation


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