The Risks of Sleep Deprivation

If you are experiencing fatigue during the day due to lack of sleep, you are not alone. In fact, 35% of adults report that they do not get enough sleep, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The causes for this astonishing amount of sleep deprived American falls under two major categories: lifestyle/occupation and sleep disorders, according to the National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine. Fatigue during the day is not the only consequence to lack of sleep. Sleep disorders are some of the most overlooked but treatable health problems. Without treatment, sleep disorders may lead to:



There is a direct link between obesity and sleep deprivation. The less sleep a person gets, the higher their body mass index (BMI), according to the National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine.  This relation may be due to the amount of snacking “short sleepers” do. Lack of sleep also impairs judgment, energy intake and food choice, according to Harvard Health.


A study called the Sleep Heart Health Study concluded that adults who reported five hours of sleep or less were more likely to have diabetes. This study also found that the weight of the person did not matter; sleep deprivation increased the chances of having diabetes with no relation to obesity.  The lack of sleep resulted in an impaired glucose tolerance causing diabetes or becoming pre-diabetic.

Cardiovascular Disease

Those who lack sleep, whether it be by choosing to stay up later on a regular basis or due to sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea, are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease or coronary heart disease, according to the National Sleep Foundation. When the body is short on long, deep periods of sleep, chemicals are released that makes it hard for the body to naturally lower blood pressure. This will lead to high blood pressure during the day resulting in a greater risk of heart disease and stroke.

What you Can do

  • Know the difference between a bad night’s sleep and an unhealthy nighttime routine.
  • If you feel you have fallen into a bad habit of staying up, try setting alarms at night and in the morning consistently so you are going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day and night.
  • Make sure your bedroom is dark, so no TV, phone or computer screens on, chilly and comfortable.


If you believe you are suffering from a sleeping disorder contact your doctor. FCCI’s Sleep Disorder Center treats a range of sleeping disorders. Our sleep doctor, Dr. Thielemann, is board certified and dedicated to reducing your chance of heart disease due to unhealthy sleeping habits.

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