5 Reasons why staying up all night is bad for your health
We’ve all been guilty of voluntarily staying up all night, whether studying for an exam, partying until the wee hours of the morning or preparing for an important meeting. Sometimes, staying up all night might not be a choice (if you’re a new parent). Or, it could be that you’re ill. Either way, staying up all night is bad for your health. Here’s why.
1. Impacts your mood
When you go without the recommended sleep average of 7-9 hours of sleep a night, studies show that your mood takes a serious hit. Researchers have found that two regions in the brain are responsible for helping to regulate our emotions. When you get enough restful sleep as the brain releases chemical signals to balance out your emotions. Without sleep, an imbalance occurs and that’s why you may feel negative emotions like anger, frustration, irritability and sadness.
2. Affects memory
When you sleep, you cycle through 5 stages. The rapid eye movement (REM) phase is where memories are consolidated, data is processed and new ideas linked. Sleep deprivation leads to a shortfall in memory consolidation in the REM phase so you might struggle to retain and recall information the next day.
3. Immune system
Do you know the tried-and-tested method of sleeping in after you’ve caught the flu or a cold? Well, it turns out there’s truth to that. The body releases T-cells during sleep which are powerful virus fighters. This boosts the immune system and strengthens it so that it can also fight off other infections.
4. Food cravings
According to studies, the hunger hormone ghrelin is released in large amounts when you stay up all night. A lack of sleep messes with your hormones, causing a shift in the timing of the release of the chemicals. This is why you’re always reaching for sweet food or junk food when you go without sleep as your body craves energy.
5. Daytime fatigue
Are you hunched over your desk at work, battling heavy eyelids? One of the side effects of ditching your bed all night is daytime fatigue. Your body needs to rest so it can regenerate cells and feel recharged and alert. Not getting enough high quality sleep sets you back and you may feel less productive than usual as your body and mind haven’t received a ‘reboot’ for the next day.
Is it bad to stay up all night?
There are no two ways about it, going without sleep is detrimental to your health. While staying up all night might happen now and again, it shouldn’t become a habit. Over time, you will feel the debilitating effects of sleep deprivation which also include depression, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and a low sex drive.
Try to get into a sleep routine – sleeping at least 7 hours a night will boost your health. Guided meditation, aromatherapy and light exercise are all things you can do to start sleeping better and for longer. Remember, rest is best!