Staying up one night isn’t a big deal. However, if the sleep deprivation becomes continuous, the systems that regulate the body’s functions become decompensated and various health problems begin to appear. Sleepless nights even cause hallucinations, researchers say.
Poor sleep at night affects metabolism and can even gain weight.
Going 18 hours without sleep, for example, impairs motor reflexes, judgment and reaction time behind the wheel. This involves an effect similar to drunkenness, increasing the risk of traffic accidents.
If the waking period is longer than 24 hours, the disability is equivalent to someone having a blood alcohol level of 0.10%, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A study by researchers at Stanford University in the United States also showed a link between sleepless nights and an increase in body mass index (BMI), indicating that sleep duration is an important regulator of weight and weight gain. metabolism.
Those who don’t get enough sleep also have an increase in corticosterone, a hormone the body releases in stressful situations. “This causes a drop in the production of new brain cells, affecting cognition, especially memory formation and the ability to concentrate,” explained psychiatrist Adiel Rios, a researcher at the Faculty of Medicine’s Institute of Psychiatry. from the University of Sao Paulo.
According to the specialist, the chronic lack of rest also promotes fatigue, premature aging, reduced immunity and daytime sleepiness, in addition to an increased risk of developing chronic diseases such as psychiatric and cardiovascular disorders.
After 48 hours without sleep, also called extreme sleep deprivation, fatigue and irritability become even more intense and the individual may begin to hallucinate, hear and see things that are not there.
Although the recommendation is 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night, in Brazil people get an average of 6.4 hours of rest, according to data from the Brazilian Sleep Association.