How Does Sleep Affect the Body

How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect the Body – Mind-Blowing

Sleep makes all the difference in how your day goes, right? It also has a lot of health implications and even helps cleanse the brain. Let’s talk about it… How does sleep deprivation affect the body? I hope this will show you how important and critical sleep is for our overall health.

Up to 70 million people in the US and 45 million people in Europe have a chronic sleep disorder. Not to mention all of the lifestyle factors that go into not getting enough sleep: Smartphone addiction, streaming our favorite shows and movies, gaming, alcohol consumption, and so on.

Sleep influences our cardiovascular health, blood pressure, weight and metabolic health, insulin resistance, and more. Sleep helps regulate these systems so a lack of sleep can create havoc. Sleep literally lowers your blood pressure. It’s amazing.

Sleep has a direct effect on the immune system and brain. We all have experienced the lack of sleep’s effect on the brain, the fogginess and maybe bad mood. And lack of sleep contributes to inflammation in the body as well. Inflammation is the enemy, which can result in chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune disorders, or even cancer.

We’ll talk about what sleep deprivation does to our bodies and how important sleep is for helping cleanse our brains and keep us healthy.

The Immune System is ‘Dampened’ With Sleep Deprivation

Our immune systems are highly complex, intricate systems that have multiple lines of defense. The different levels of the immune system are activated depending on the invader or threat to it. Sleep helps support and regulate our immune systems.

Part of the immune system.

When we are sick, we feel like sleeping a lot more. That is the immune system telling our body to shut down and sleep so it can focus energy on fighting the invader.

Sleep and immunity are bidirectional. The brain and immune system communicate and respond depending on the situation. The immune system can urge us to sleep when fighting infection but some inflammation and sickness can also keep us awake because of pain or discomfort, exacerbating the situation.

With sleep deprivation, our natural killer cell function is reduced which creates an increased risk of viral infection or cancer. Inflammatory cytokines increase as well, which increases our risk of inflammation, cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. Antibody production also goes down, increasing our risk of infections as well.

Higher Risk of Neurodegenerative Conditions

The brain’s glymphatic system is super-charged while we sleep. It is the brain’s primary way to clean out toxins and deposits that can cause neurodegenerative diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. The glymphatic system is like the lymphatic system in the rest of our bodies, using a fluid system to move toxins and waste through our bodies and out.

Interestingly, the glymphatic system is almost dormant when we are awake. It only works while we are sleeping. So sleep is really critical for our brains to function normally and prevent inflammation in the brain from too many toxins and debris.

Not getting enough sleep in the long term leads to neuroinflammation and neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other brain diseases.

Sleep Deprivation and Inflammation

Lack of sleep actually causes dysregulation of the immune system and what we can end up with is chronic inflammation. This can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases, increased BMI, obesity, and cortisol levels (stress hormone). Reference here.

If we can get the recommended 7-9 hours per night of sleep (for adults), we can possibly reduce the chances of getting sick and also help prevent long-term chronic illness.

Reduced Effectiveness of Vaccines Immediately After Vaccination

Getting adequate sleep also helps your body create the correct response to vaccines, making them more effective. Your immune system is reacting to the vaccine, so getting adequate sleep and helping your immune system function properly will also help the vaccine create the correct immune response.

Circadian Rhythm Helps Regulate Sleep and the Immune System

The Circadian rhythm is our internal clock that regulates our sleep and wake times. It also regulates how our immune system functions.

There are things we can do to help regulate our circadian rhythm.

  1. Reducing or stopping cell phone or blue screen use a few hours before bed will help your body know it’s time to stop working.
  2. Getting sunshine during the morning also helps set your circadian rhythm straight.
  3. Using your bed only for sleeping (or sex) also signals to your body when it’s time for sleep.

Check out: Natural Ways To Help With Sleep

Video: What Happens When You Don’t Sleep


We know sleep is important for feeling good but it’s less apparent it influences our immune system as well. Getting enough rest also helps prevent chronic inflammation which can cause a host of problems and chronic illnesses we can definitely prevent.

Getting enough sleep is also extremely important for our brains to actually clean and keep it functioning at its best, especially as we age.

Sleep is important as a tool for our detox and cleansing strategies, to help keep our natural immune system working to get rid of toxins and bacteria without a lot of extra effort on our part.

I hope you found this article helpful in understanding just how important sleep is for our health. So the next time you want to stay up streaming your favorite show, maybe you’ll think twice about it.

Thank you for reading today. If you have any questions, comments or additional wisdom to add, please leave it in the Comments section below. Thank you!

4 thoughts on “How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect the Body – Mind-Blowing”

  1. Your article really hit home with me due to some of my medical issues and I truly believe that my sleeping habit is the main reason why it’s hard for me to get to where I need to be as soon as possible. I work nights and my sleeping pattern is terrible, especially on my off days. Everything else I do, I do well enough, but if I can get to bed like I’m supposed to then my body will recover faster. Man, I’m supposed to be in bed now

    1. That third shift is rough. Hopefully, you can wear a sleeping mask and get more sleep that way. Also, try taking magnesium a bit before you go to bed. It will help you sleep like a baby. Thank you for reading and I hope you catch my article on tips to help you get to sleep and sleep better.

  2. Hi Paula

    Thank you for the very insightful post on how does sleep deprivation affects the body.

    Lack of sleep has been directly linked to a wide variety of serious health issues. It is actually scary to think that such a simple thing could cause some of them. It is sometimes tough to get enough sleep. It’s good to know since I haven’t been getting enough. It will be good to know what I can do to correct that, now that I know the health effects.

    1. Thanks for reading Marlene. I’m glad you understand how important it is and I hope my tips on getting enough sleep help you asl well. 🙂

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