What Happens When You Sleep For Less Than 7 Hours?

Written by Indrani Karmakar  • 

The amount, and quality of sleep we get everyday, affects us both physically and mentally. It also determines our productivity for the next day. So it’s a no-brainer that lack of sleep won’t do us any good. However, chronic sleep deprivation poses considerably greater risks than occasional missed night’s sleep. We have compiled the results of research into the effects of sleep deprivation. Read on to know them all.

What Is Sleep Deprivation

What Is Sleep Deprivation
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Insufficient sleep is what we mean when we say sleep deprivation. Research indicates that humans require between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. Just as we require oxygen to live, and nourishment and water to sustain life, our body requires rest too. The brain forms new connections and the body repairs itself during sleep. A lack of sleep or poor quality sleep over time leads to sleep loss.

There are a variety of causes for someone to not get enough sleep.

  • Work Obligations

This is especially true for those who work night shifts, or have many jobs, and have to put in long hours. If done for long periods, this can cause irreversible damage to your body.

  • Poor Sleeping Habits

You should sleep in the most comfortable setting. If you find yourself on an uncomfortable creaky bed, surrounded by bright light, you may not be getting any sleep irrespective of the fact that you have been lying on the bed for hours.

  • Bad Decisions

We all know that trying to sleep right after consuming a sugary treat or watching a thriller movie is not going to do the job of a lullaby for us. Yet, most of us are guilty of binge-watching shows while eating high-calorie snacks before hitting the bed.

  • Medical Conditions

Sleep problems including insomnia, apnea, and RLS are quite frequent among individuals now, and require medical help to overcome the lack of sleep.

Negative Outcomes Of Sleep Deprivation

Almost every part of the human organism benefits from enough sleep. This is why long-term sleep loss can lead to a host of health problems, both psychological and physiological.

1. Excess Weight Gain

Excess Weight Gain
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Insufficient sleep has been linked to an increase in calorie and carbohydrate consumption. Gaining weight and having trouble staying in shape are common results of lack of sleep.

2. Mood Swings

Lack of sleep has been linked to increased irritability and emotional instability.

3. Diabetes

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Lack of sleep may impair the body’s capacity to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. It’s a known risk factor for metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

4. Weak Immunity

The body’s immune system develops antibodies and other defenses against illness while we sleep. Antibodies and cytokines are two examples. They aid the immune system in combating germs and viruses. Lack of sleep can lead to a reduction in defensive chemicals being produced by the immune system. The immune system could fail to be able to successfully repel intruders.

5. Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease

Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease
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The heart and blood vessels benefit from our nightly slumber. It’s also important for the cardiovascular system’s capacity to mend itself and heal. High blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and heart attacks are all made more likely by insufficient sleep.

6. Could Make You More Accident Prone

Daytime sleepiness raises the probability of automobile accidents and other harms from carelessness.

7. Could Cause Hormone Imbalance

Could Cause Hormone Imbalance
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The production and regulation of hormones in the body are aided by sufficient sleep. That’s why long-term sleep loss can make us more susceptible to hormonal issues.

8. May Cause Skin Problems

Human skin is rejuvenated, and a hormone that helps maintain good skin is created during sleep. It stimulates collagen formation, too. Smoother, more elastic skin is a result of collagen production. Dry, dull skin is the result of a fluid imbalance brought on by sleep deprivation. Acne and allergy reactions are more likely to occur. Under-eye circles become darker, and the skin becomes less supple.

9. It Could Make Your Brain Consume Itself

It Could Make Your Brain Consume Itself
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Our bodies can’t operate properly without sufficient sleep. It also aids in the disposal of the waste products of brain activity, toxins, and debris. Sleep deprivation increases the activation of a gene known to control the behavior of these cells. When intra-brain communication is weakened due to inadequate sleep, astrocytes, which govern the communication between brain cells, clean the nerve connection places in the brain that are called synapses. This is unfortunately as scary as it sounds, and we must give at least 8 hours of sleep to our body each day.

Even though these points might scare you enough to get to bed right away, sleeping right is absolutely necessary for your body. This is when your organs rest and repair themselves so you can’t negotiate with the importance of sleeping 8 hours a day. So, how many hours do you sleep? Let us know in the comments section!


  1. Short- and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption, NCBI
  2. Human immune system during sleep, NCBI
  3. Functions and Mechanisms of Sleep, NCBI
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