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Why Sleeping Late Is Bad For Your Health

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Our Morning And Evening Routines Affect Our Health More Than We Think

Why sleeping late can be dangerous for your health

A 2013 study in mice, for example, found that one of the key cells involved in helping us fight off viruses and disease is controlled by our cycles of light and dark. When the researchers messed with the mice’s natural cycles shifting their light/dark exposure by several hours every few days for several weeks the mice were more likely to develop inflammatory disease than the ones who continued with their normal light/dark cycles.

In other words, artificial light at a non-natural time seems to have adverse effects on health.

It Affects Your Memory And Concentration Levels

Its not just your waistline that suffers when you indulge in late night cravings too often. It turns out that eating late at night is bad for your brain health too. Believe it or not, scientists have found that timing of meals have far-reaching effects on brain physiology and learned behaviour. Irregular eating patterns affect the circadian system, which in turn affects the brains ability of learning, concentration and memorizing.

Study Reveals Why All

Shifting your sleep schedule may trigger changes in the body that can eventually lead to obesity, diabetes, and other serious problems.

You know sleep is important. Weve all heard about the harmful effects of regularly not getting enough restful sleep, such as increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, obesity, and more. But new research offers new evidence on why when we sleep may be of utmost importance when it comes to how those poor-sleep-related problems actually develop.

A study published May 21, 2018, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that staying awake at night and sleeping during the day for even just one 24-hour period can rapidly lead to changes in more than 100 proteins in the blood, including ones that have an effect on blood sugar, immune function, and metabolism. Over time, these biochemical changes in blood protein levels can elevate your risk for health issues such as diabetes, weight gain, and even cancer, says the study’s lead author, Christopher Depner, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of integrative physiology at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

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Ways Staying Up Late Could Be Harmful To Your Health

Getting a good nights sleep is often easier said than done, especially when things like Netflix and Twitter and beating the next level of Candy Crush exist. But it is going to bed in the wee hours of the morning really that big of a deal? Is staying up late bad for you? Like most questions related to our health and daily habits, that answer is both yes and no.

Some studies suggest that there are benefits to staying up late. People who consider themselves night owls may be at peak physical performance at night, with one study suggesting they may demonstrate increased strength at nighttime. Its long been said that creativity and staying up late are connected. A study published in Personality and Individual Differences found that people who stay up late are more likely to come up with creative solutions to a problem than those who wake up early.

Its also no secret sleep is good for our bodies. The benefits of going to bed on time range from helping you get to sleep quicker to boosting your metabolism. One study even showed that sleeping more can add years to your life, with more deaths occurring among women who slept under five hours a night.

Do You Get Enough Sleep

Why is sleeping late bad for your health?

If you get into bed and fall asleep within 20 minutes, don’t remember waking up throughout the night, and wake up feeling refreshed each morning, you should be good to go, Dr. Paruthi says. If not? The best way to find out how much sleep you need is to go to sleep when you feel tired and wake up without an alarm for a few days at time like when you’re on vacation. Then set a bedtime and stick to it for all of the reasons above.

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Does Poor Sleep Really Harm Our Health

Unhealthy sleep patterns include:

  • not sleeping for long enough

  • sleeping for too long

  • snoring

  • insomnia

  • being a night owl, also known as late chronotype. This is people who naturally feel most awake and motivated in the evening, and are sluggish in the morning.

They are all associated with poorer health.

Recent research shows poor sleep may:

Read more:Why sleep is so important for losing weight

However, very few studies have examined how sleep and physical activity interact and impact our health.

We set out to answer the question: if I have poor sleep but I do quite a lot of physical activity, can that offset some of the harms of my poor sleep in the long-term? Or would this not make any difference?

Ways To Control Eating Late At Night

It is advised to eat a balanced meal between 7:00 to 7:30 pm. A balanced meal will keep you satiated and provide better control over mid night craving until bedtime.

Avoid stocking junk food at home. If there are no junk food at home, the chances of mid night snacking will be drastically reduced. Replacing junk food with healthy alternative such as fruits, dry fruits, oatmeal crackers etc. is better than eating unhealthy food at night before sleeping.

Sometimes the body may mistake feeling thirsty with feeling hungry. It is therefore important to understand if the body need water to quench the thirst instead of eating snacks first.

Stress management can also help us in reducing anxiety and other psychological issues. Relaxing and calming bed time routine can help is minimizing stress and the urges to binge eat.

Despite all the measures, if the body stills craves for a snack at night, one can consider eating the following instead of an unhealthy snack.

  • A piece of grilled chicken

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The Importance Of Sleep

The quality of your sleep at night directly affects your mental and physical health and how well you feel during the day. Sleep impacts your productivity, emotional balance, brain and heart health, immune function, creativity, vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort!

When youre scrambling to meet the demands of a busy schedule, though, or just finding it hard to sleep at night, getting by on less hours may seem like a good solution. But even minimal sleep loss can take a substantial toll on your mood, energy, mental sharpness, and ability to handle stress. And over the long-term, chronic sleep loss can wreak havoc on your mental and physical health.

Sleep isnt merely a time when your body shuts off. While you rest, your brain stays busy, overseeing biological maintenance that keeps your body running in top condition, preparing you for the day ahead. Without enough hours of restorative sleep, you wont be able to work, learn, create, and communicate at a level even close to your true potential. Regularly skimp on service and youre headed for a major mental and physical breakdown.

What Health Conditions Are Linked To A Lack Of Sleep

Why Is Late Night Eating Bad For You?

Adults who sleep less than 7 hours each night are more likely to say they have had health problems, including heart attack, asthma, and depression.3 Some of these health problems raise the risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. These health problems include:

  • High blood pressure. During normal sleep, your blood pressure goes down. Having sleep problems means your blood pressure stays higher for a longer period of time.4 High blood pressure is one of the leading risks for heart disease and stroke. About 75 million Americans1 in 3 adultshave high blood pressure.5
  • Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that causes sugar to build up in your blood, a condition that can damage your blood vessels. Some studies show that getting enough good sleep may help people improve blood sugar control.6
  • Obesity. Lack of sleep can lead to unhealthy weight gain. This is especially true for children and adolescents, who need more sleep than adults. Not getting enough sleep may affect a part of the brain that controls hunger.6

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Is Sleep Deprivation Different From Insomnia

While both insomnia and sleep deprivation involve failing to get enough sleep, many experts in sleep science make a distinction between them. People with insomnia have trouble sleeping even when they have plenty of time to sleep. On the other hand, people with sleep deprivation dont have enough time allocated for sleep as a result of behavior choices or everyday obligations.

An illustration of this difference is that people who are sleep deprived because of a busy work schedule usually have no problems sleeping longer on weekends to try to catch up on sleep. Someone with insomnia, though, still struggles to sleep despite having the opportunity to do so.

There can be considerable overlap between how sleep deprivation and insomnia are described, but patients should be aware that their doctor or a sleep specialist may use more specific definitions.

How Late Night Sleep Affects On Your Health :

We all have a preferred time to sleep. There are morning people, evening people, and some are in between. And as we said earlier our body needs the required minimum hours of sleep to keep the inner systems healthy and functioning well. But when it doesnt get the basic required rest it starts acting up on your body which causes other different symptoms. In most cases, it only happens when staying up late at night and wake up early.

Here are the few possible symptoms of lack of rest that you need to watch out for.

You must have known this fact of having less sleep. What you need to worry is not waking up late bad for your health. But instead, Lack of sleep slows down your metabolism which can lead to weight gain. It increases levels of Cortisol, which increases your appetite and decreases a hormone called Leptin, a hormone that tells your body to stop eating because it feels full. When you have less resistance you tend to eat more and gain weight.

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It Makes It Harder To Lose Weight

Heres something to discourage you from eating a late night dinner it will make you gain weight. Research now shows that eating late may influence the success of weight-loss therapy. Surprisingly, your ability to gain or lose weight doesnt just depend on caloric intake and macronutrient distribution but also the timing of food. So when it comes to eating late at night, the concept of A calorie is just a calorie may be redundant. Because these calories you are ingesting at late hours will more likely be stored as fat in your body.

If You Love Staying Up Late And Sleeping In Doing Otherwise Might Actually Hurt Your Health

Why sleeping in over weekends could be bad for your health

Heres one more way our modern sleep schedules might be killing us.

ByNeel V. Patel | Published Apr 13, 2018 12:36 AM

Night owls might get a rap for staying up too late watching Netflix or getting lost in meme spirals on the web, but its not all fun and games. Study after study shows the later you sleep and rise, the more likely you are to develop some serious health complications.

A new paper by researchers from Northwestern University and the University of Surrey in the UK doubles down on the findings that night owls are more likely to suffer from a host of different diseases and disordersdiabetes, mental illnesses, neurological problems, gastrointestinal issues, and heart disease, to name a few. It also concludes, for the first time, that night owls had a 10 percent increased risk of dying compared to those who are early to rise and early to sleep .

I think its really important to get this message out to people who are night owls, says lead author Kristen Knutson, an associate professor of neurology at Northwesterns Feinberg School of Medicine. There may be some compelling consequences associated with these habits, and they might need to be more vigilant in maintaining a healthier lifestyle.

Moreover, the data is limited to just British participants, most of whom were caucasians of Irish or English descent. Its likely the results would be similar for other populations in the Western world, but they could also be substantially different for night owls elsewhere.

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This Study Was A Small One But The Results Are Important Experts Say

Though small, this study is one of the first and most revealing to look at how protein levels in the blood are affected by when we eat and sleep and shows whats happening to those protein levels in real time when those everyday patterns are altered, Depner says. The results emphasize the important role our bodys circadian clock plays when it comes to our health.

The study illuminates potential ways that circadian misalignment can lead to disease by identifying proteins affected by those factors, says Eve Van Cauter, PhD, a professor of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism in the department of medicine at the University of Chicago, who was not involved in the new study. We know shift workers are at increased risk of diabetes and cancer, but we dont know the pathway, says Dr. Van Cauter. This study is pointing at the pathways.

While this study is definitely an important step in understanding the ways in which circadian misalignment can lead to health problems, its worth noting that it involved only six men, who were young and healthy, notes Depner. The researchers plan to do future studies on larger groups of people including women.

Another limitation was the frequency of the blood tests, notes Van Cauter. In this study, blood samples were taken only every four hours. While informative, the sampling was infrequent given that the entire 24-hour cycle only had six data points, says Van Cauter.

Cognitive Problems Alzheimers Disease And Other Types Of Dementia

What we’re finding is that injury due to poor sleep or not enough sleep doesn’t show up immediately, but it can result in changes that later on in life look like Alzheimer’s disease and injury in the hippocampus and some of the other brain regions, says Veasey. The hippocampus is one of critical areas for learning and memory, she adds.

Translational MedicineNeurologyProceedings of the National Academy of SciencesJournal of Neuroscience,

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Daytime Performance And Safety

Getting enough quality sleep at the right times helps you function well throughout the day. People who are sleep deficient are less productive at work and school. They take longer to finish tasks, have a slower reaction time, and make more mistakes.

After several nights of losing sleepeven a loss of just 12 hours per nightyour ability to function suffers as if you haven’t slept at all for a day or two.

Lack of sleep also may lead to microsleep. Microsleep refers to brief moments of sleep that occur when you’re normally awake.

You can’t control microsleep, and you might not be aware of it. For example, have you ever driven somewhere and then not remembered part of the trip? If so, you may have experienced microsleep.

Even if you’re not driving, microsleep can affect how you function. If you’re listening to a lecture, for example, you might miss some of the information or feel like you don’t understand the point. In reality, though, you may have slept through part of the lecture and not been aware of it.

Some people aren’t aware of the risks of sleep deficiency. In fact, they may not even realize that they’re sleep deficient. Even with limited or poor-quality sleep, they may still think that they can function well.

Drivers aren’t the only ones affected by sleep deficiency. It can affect people in all lines of work, including health care workers, pilots, students, lawyers, mechanics, and assembly line workers.

How Much Sleep Do You Actually Need

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Everyone feels better after a good nights rest. But now, thanks to a report from the National Sleep Foundation, you can aim for a targeted sleep number tailored to your age.

The foundation based its report on two years of research andbreaks it down into nine age-specific categories, with a slight range thatallows for individual preference:

  • Older adults, 65+ years: 7 to 8 hours.
  • Adults, 26 to 64 years: 7 to 9 hours.
  • Young adults, 18 to 25 years: 7 to 9 hours.
  • Teenagers, 14 to 17 years: 8 to 10 hours.
  • School-age children, 6 to 13 years: 9 to 11 hours.
  • Preschool children, 3 to 5 years: 10 to 13 hours.
  • Toddlers, 1 to 2 years: 11 to 14 hours.
  • Infants, 4 to 11 months: 12 to 15 hours.
  • Newborns, 0 to 3 months: 14 to 17 hours.

Dr. Walia says theres evidence that genetic, behavioral and environmental factors help determine how much sleep an individual needs for their best health and daily performance.

But a minimum of seven hours of sleep is a step in the rightdirection to improve your health, she says.

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How To Catch Up On Lost Sleep

If you don’t get enough sleep, there’s only one way to compensate getting more sleep.

It won’t happen with a single early night. If you’ve had months of restricted sleep, you’ll have built up a significant sleep debt, so expect recovery to take several weeks.

Starting on a weekend, try to add on an extra hour or 2 of sleep a night. The way to do this is to go to bed when you’re tired, and allow your body to wake you in the morning .

You might sleep up to 10 hours a night at first. After a while, the amount of time you sleep will gradually decrease to a normal level.

Don’t rely on caffeine or energy drinks as a short-term pick-me-up. They may boost your energy and concentration in the short term, but can disrupt your sleep patterns even further in the long term.

Page last reviewed: 5 August 2021 Next review due: 5 August 2024

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