Poor Sleep Hygiene Has These Specific Effects on Your Health

Not sleeping well? The effects may be more harmful than you think

poor sleep hygiene effects

Getting a good night’s sleep is a function of sleep hygiene. 

Proper sleep hygiene takes into account your environment before, during, and after sleep.

For example, your bedtime routines, the food you eat before sleep, what you wear to bed, the temperature in the room your sleep, among others.

These factors tend to impact the quality of our sleep. And if they are absent, they do more damage to our sleep and our bodies.

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In this post, you’ll learn about the effects of poor sleep hygiene. 

Let’s dive in.

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1. Poor sleep hygiene increases cardiovascular diseases risk

When you have poor sleep hygiene, you tend to have insufficient sleep. 

Research shows this can, in turn, cause cardiovascular health issues including heart attack and stroke

Part of the reason is that insufficient sleep affects the part of the brain that controls the circulatory system.

And this may increase the risk of inflammation, which then makes it more likely for blood clots to develop. These ultimately cause various heart diseases, including heart attack and stroke.

Prolonged sleep deprivation is also linked with hypertension, which is a risk factor for many cardiovascular conditions.

2. Poor sleep hygiene can lead to weight gain

Sleep deficiency, which is a result of poor sleep hygiene, can affect your weight and can cause obesity. Let me explain.

One way it does this is by altering the amount of leptin and ghrelin in the body.

Leptin and ghrelin are both important in controlling the feeling of hunger and fullness.

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When leptin reduces, our bodies receive a hormonal signal to the body to stop eating.

On the other hand, when ghrelin levels increase, our appetite gets stimulated. And this may cause us to eat more than the body needs, which increases the risk factor for obesity.

There are other ways sleep deficiency causes obesity too.

Moreover, insufficient sleep can make you too tired to exercise.  

And in addition, it can also activate the endocannabinoid system of the body, which increases the body’s appetite for junk foods.

3. Poor sleep hygiene can lower sex drive

Bad news. According to research, sleep-deprived people, both men, and women have lower libidos and are not generally interested in sex.

This does not come as much of a surprise when you consider that sleep-deprived people are usually fatigued, drowsy, and irritable.

All those are not exactly ideal conditions for sex, don’t you think? 

Men with sleep apnea, a respiratory problem that interrupts sleep, also have low testosterone levels, according to a study

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Lower testosterone levels can lower sex drive. 

4. Poor sleep hygiene may lead to decreased fertility

Before you ask, yes, there’s a difference between sex drive and fertility. Poor sleep can make it difficult to conceive.

This is because the reproductive hormone levels, which naturally boost fertility, in the body are messed up.

Poor sleep quality, particularly in women, has been linked to infertility.

5. Poor sleep hygiene can lead to weakened immunity

One of the effects of poor sleep hygiene relates to the immune system.

Our bodies produce and release different types of proteins to keep us immuned and healthy on our own. 

One of those proteins is Cytokines. 

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Cytokines enable us to fight infection and inflammation, which in turn boosts our immunity. Our bodies produce and release cytokines when we sleep.

So if we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies are less likely to produce less of this helpful protein. 

If possible, take afternoon naps, so your body can rejuvenate.

Even one research found that people who sleep less than six hours a night might be three times more likely to develop a condition that leads to diabetes and heart disease.

On top of that, your body is less likely to recover faster from sickness if you’re not getting enough rest.