No matter how important sleep is to our health, it seems many of us still don’t do it enough. Usually, this lack of sleep is due to the modern lifestyle, particularly its demands that take so much of our time.
It could be the amount of work that we must accomplish daily that makes us end up working into the night, or it could be the demands of family life. Either way, we end up being deprived of sleep.
Well, insufficient sleep increases risks of heart attack, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. It impairs our attention, cognition, and decision-making which could lead to a fatal accidentwhile working or on the road.
Those risks that stem from sleep deprivation are often discussed in various media outlets. But, what is not often talked about is how sleep deprivation can lead to hormone imbalance.
Note that the endocrine system is most active when the body is asleep at night. So, as you’d expect, it’s during nighttime sleep that testosterone production is at its highest for men.
This is why sex drive and erections are stronger upon waking up in the morning. Simply put, not getting enough sleep at night could reduce serum testosterone by more than half the next day.
Aside from not having enough time for sleep, the amount of time one spends in front of LED screens has negative effects on both sleep quality and biological rhythm.
This is due to the blue light that LEDs emit. Nighttime exposure to blue light actually reduces sleep quality and lowers the levels of melatonin (the sleep hormone).
The body responds to blue light this way because it mistakes such light as sunlight. This makes it difficult for the body to recognize what is night or day and throws hormone production, particularly of cortisol, into a confusing loop.
Unfortunately, we are exposed to such light for most of the day. Avoiding it is almost impossible given how important smartphones and computers have become, especially in communicating with co-workers and family members.
Since these problems are part of daily life, many remain unaware that their hormone are no longer in balance. Well, there are proven ways to mitigate them, but the real challenge lies in becoming fully aware of the issue.