Lost sleep add up to a bigger health deficit than many people may realize, says Nancy Foldvary-Schaefer, DO, MS, director of Cleveland Clinic Sleep Disorders Center.
“We need sleep so we can restore nutrients, replenish the spirit and refresh the mind,” Dr. Foldvary-Schaefer stresses. “Hidden health hazards accumulate during periods of sleeplessness, and they can’t be covered up with concealer or reversed with caffeine.”
Not getting enough sleep causes elevated evening cortisol (or “stress hormone” levels). A good night’s sleep naturally reduces cortisol levels in your body. Sleep deprivation alters key hormone levels (ghrelin, leptin and cortisol), research shows. Your immune system is more likely to break down when you’ve burned the candle at both ends.