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How Changes In Sleep Cycle Affect The Body? Doctor Explains

Sleep is more than just a rest period; it is an essential biological function that controls various bodily functions and processes. When our sleep cycle changes, often due to external factors or internal imbalances, the consequences can be extreme, affecting our physical and mental well-being. In a conversation with Jagran English, Dr Shankar Biradar, Medical Director in association with Magniflex India explained how the sleep cycle affects the entire body.

Ways In Which Sleep Cycles Affect Body

One of the most immediate impacts of lack of sleep is on the brain. Our brain is the most affected organ. It controls our thoughts, memory, motor skills, and vision, coordinates our movements, and helps us with judgement, reasoning & thinking. As we age, all these functions start deteriorating, but lack of sleep can harm our brain functions. With prolonged sleep deprivation, our brain starts to slow down and become susceptible to neurodegenerative processes.

Changes in the sleep cycle also disrupt our hormonal balance. Crucial hormones like cortisol (stress) and leptin (hunger) are regulated during sleep. When sleep is inadequate, this delicate balance is thrown off, leading to increased stress levels and potential weight gain. This hormonal imbalance can be likened to the instruments going out of tune, creating disharmony within the symphony.

Furthermore, the immune system weakens when sleep is disrupted. Sleep is vital in producing white blood cells, our body’s defence against infections. With inadequate sleep, this production decreases, making us more susceptible to illnesses. A compromised immune system leaves us vulnerable to “attacks” from pathogens.

The effects even extend to our cardiovascular system. Sleep disturbances can lead to fluctuations in blood pressure and heart rate, increasing the risk of heart disease. Irregular blood pressure and heart rate disrupt the body’s natural rhythm, putting additional strain on the cardiovascular system.

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