Being caught up in work and play definitely takes a toll on one’s health. Even the small adjustments, like sleeping late, can have negative effects to your well-being. Every living thing follows a 24-hour cycle called the circadian rhythm. This cycle is endogenously initiated through environmental cues, like temperature and sunlight, and regulated by one’s biological clock. When you sleep late all the time, your biological clock will be messed up and affect your daytime routines as well. It is an intricate biological system, and when your body goes against it, certain drawbacks will be observed.
While the hours of sleep still count, you should also fix your schedule so that you are already snoring by midnight. If sleeping late is already a habit, here are the following consequences you will be facing later in life:
Varying Immune Response
Sleep deprivation has negative impacts to the immune system, but these are not commonly highlighted. In a study, a mere 6 hours of sleep every night cause the elevation of systemic inflammation markers among healthy adults. This results in chronic pain or soreness, which eventually leads to autoimmune diseases or osteoporosis. Sleep restriction can also cause a decrease in antibody production after a vaccination. It is found out that vaccinations won’t be much of use if injected to people lacking sleep. The varying immune responses mess up the bodily functions, and this is only because you lack sleep.
Cardiovascular dangers are a result of different circumstances, one of which is sleeping late. Studies show that obtaining fewer hours of sleep can lead to the increased risk of cardiovascular events. Health issues, such as a myocardial infarction and stroke, are two or three times more likely to occur if one’s average sleep duration is 5 hours every night or less. Shift workers are the ones commonly experiencing coronary risks due to the constant disruptions to the circadian rhythm. However, some researchers don’t have a clear understanding about the link between cardiovascular diseases and short sleep duration.
In a study among women, a link between breast cancer and short sleep duration has been established. Sleeping 6 hours or less every night increases the risk of cancer because it shortens the duration of melatonin secretion. A low level of melatonin is usually a cause for cancer, so lacking sleep would be a key factor to the development of carcinogens in the body.
More REM Sleep
There are two types of sleep, known as the REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM sleep. Vivid dreams occur during the REM, while restorative functions are processed at the non-REM stage. Non-REM sleep usually occurs between 11pm to 3am, which is why going to bed late would mean missing restorative processes. Mostly, you will be treated to light sleep, which is the REM stage. During this stage, you are likely to wake up because of sounds, sudden change of temperature and even lighting. The constant disruptions and lack of restorative functions might lead to a grumpy morning and less organized mind.
When one goes to bed off the schedule, his circadian cycle is thrown off the rhythm. Constant late sleeping will eventually lead to insomnia or the trouble of falling or staying asleep. When your circadian rhythm already established 3am as your sleeping time, you will surely toss and turn in your bed if you try to sleep early in the evening. The sad fact is that you won’t be able to get enough rest if you are slated to go to work early in the morning, no matter how you sleep early. The anxiety of not having enough sleep will surely be felt throughout the day, leading to an unproductive schedule and more yawning.
There is a hypothesis that appetite is connected to sleep. In one study, it was known that the lack of sleep alters hormones that regulate appetite. Short sleep patterns lead to a high level of ghrelin and a low level of leptin. This combination increases the appetite, which is why it would be hard to regulate your BMI if you are not fixing your sleeping pattern. People who want to be fit should also try to sleep early, because exercise and a healthy diet won’t be enough to curtail the fats when a raging appetite kicks in.
Short sleep deficits are likely to cause reduced efficiency at work, since your brain is not yet adjusted to being awake. However, not being productive is somewhat minor as compared to the common occurrence of accidents related to lack of sleep. Poor sleep quality results in drowsiness throughout the day. While coffee can remedy this for a short span of time, you won’t be able to stop your eyes from drooping while driving a car or using the stairs. Your awareness of the things around you will be significantly low, leading to accidents.