Kate’s Corner: The Need For Plenty Of Rest

During my blog hopping today, I read a blog written by a physician who was discussing her residency program, and her lack of sleep due to long shifts of on call duty. She outlined all of the different chronic diseases that can arise from lack of sleep. Having just retired from nursing, where I worked night shift three nights in a row, I sympathized with her content.

When I was younger, Night Shift did not seem to bother me as much as it did this time around. As I neared retirement, daily migraines with vomiting became the norm. I felt more and more alienated from myself, and who I wanted to be.

It has been almost a month since I left the hospital where I worked. I’m still getting the headaches and the vomiting but not every day. I will be going to my family doctor next week and in preparation, did a panel of bloodwork to prepare for the visit. I was delighted to get the results, which were all negative.

Had I continued to press on, there is no doubt in my mind that a more serious condition would have become apparent overtime. That’s how these things work. Our bodies are telling us things every day that we need to heed. When we do not listen, something paramount to disastrous conditions arise.

This is why I firmly believe in developing love for yourself, your body, your spirit, your life. My daily meditations take all of this into consideration, with a healthy dose of gratitude uppermost in my mind.

The following are all the ways sleep deprivation, can negatively affect your body and cause long-term consequences. These include:

1. Cognitive Impairment: Sleep is crucial for cognitive processes. Lack of sleep can lead to issues with concentration, memory, and decision-making. Over time, this can result in decreased performance at work or school and an increased likelihood of accidents.

2. Mood Disorders: Chronic sleep deprivation is associated with an increased risk of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and irritability.

3. Weakened Immune System: Sleep is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system. Over time, insufficient sleep can weaken the body’s defenses against infections.

4. Increased Risk of Serious Health Conditions: Long-term sleep deprivation is linked to an increased risk of chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Sleep is crucial for the body’s repair processes, and without adequate rest, the risk of these conditions rises.

5. Weight Gain: Lack of sleep can affect the hormones that regulate hunger (ghrelin and leptin), leading to increased appetite and calorie intake, which can contribute to weight gain and obesity.

6. Hormonal Imbalance: Sleep affects the levels of various hormones in the body, including those responsible for growth, stress, and reproduction. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to imbalances that affect overall health.

7. Decreased Libido: Sleep deprivation can lead to reduced libido and sexual dysfunction, partly due to depleted energy, increased stress, and hormonal imbalances.

8. Aging of Skin: Chronic sleep loss can lead to more visible signs of aging, such as fine lines, uneven skin tone, and reduced skin elasticity, due to increased stress and reduced repair time for skin cells.

9. Impaired Brain Function: Sleep is crucial for brain function and the consolidation of memories. Long-term sleep deprivation can lead to a decline in brain function and structural changes in brain areas responsible for cognition and mood.

Take these risks seriously. Understanding them highlights the importance of prioritizing sleep for overall health and well-being.

Meet Kate And Dean Holland


8 thoughts on “Kate’s Corner: The Need For Plenty Of Rest”

  1. I wrote her blog, was very interesting as so is yours. Sometimes we don’t realize that lack of sleep can cause other problems besides just being tired. Thanks for the list,

  2. Kate, it took me 3 years after retirement to catch up on my sleep and to recover from PTSD. It was a very hard 3 years. I had not known before retirement that I was in such bad shape.

    1. I appreciate that, Lily. I think I was in danger of getting very sick if I had continued going into the arena of Corporate Medicine! Before I took the job a year before, I was healthier than I had ever been. I remembered the “then” and the “now.” I wanted to get back to the ‘then.”
      I look forward to our blog hop in April!!

  3. This is important information. I couldn’t figure out why the last 3-4 years of teaching were so difficult. I was sick with all sorts of ailments. It was because of a lack of sleep. Thanks for outlining why we should make sleep a priority.

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