5 Harmful Side Effects of Staying Up Too Late

We’d all love to get a restful sleep every single night. But as anyone with a job and/or kids knows all too well, real life always tends to get in the way of achieving that dream. Unfortunately, though, burning the midnight oil to finish a work project or tidy up the house does more than just make you groggy the next morning.

Staying up late can have a major impact on your health, too. Need more incentive to call it an early night? Read on to discover the harmful side effects of staying up too late, depriving yourself of some much-needed rest.


You eat more

Though human beings are supposed to eat for survival, most of the time we eat because, quite frankly, food is just too delicious to pass up. And unfortunately for those of us who are up late at night, it’s even harder to tune out those impulsive eating cues. In fact, an analysis of 17 studies published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who didn’t get a full night’s rest ate an average of 385 more calories the following day than those who got their eight hours.

You gain weight

The extra calories you consume due to a lack of sleep can also lead to weight gain and obesity in the long term. According to a study of 68,000 women published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, those who got five hours of sleep or less per night gained 2.5 more pounds over the 16-year study period than women who slept soundly every night.

“Usual sleep times of less than seven hours are associated with a substantial increase in the risk of major weight gain and incident obesity,” the study authors noted, hypothesizing a link between those late nights and changes in the body’s metabolic activity.

Your risk of developing diabetes increases

When your body is running on little sleep, it compensates by excreting high levels of stress hormones like cortisol to keep you alert. According to a 2010 study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, this can make you less sensitive to the effects of insulin—or, in other words, it can cause your body to convert the glucose in your bloodstream to energy less efficiently. Over time, this can lead to a buildup of glucose in your bloodstream, thereby increasing your risk of diabetes.

You put your heart health on the line

Every organ in the body needs sleep to function, the heart included. The National Sleep Foundation notes that not getting adequate periods of rest can activate chemicals that “keep the body from achieving extended periods in which heart rate and blood pressure are lowered.”

And when researchers conducted a meta-analysis on sleep deprivation and heart health published in the journal Current Cardiology Reviews, they concluded that staying up too late and getting five hours of sleep or less is directly correlated with an increased risk of hypertension and coronary heart disease.

Your memory weakens

When you stay up late and your brain is running on fumes, it has trouble keeping track of the information it’s receiving. When researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles tested the effect of sleepiness on cognitive function, they found that when subjects were deprived of sleep, their neurons had trouble communicating. These misfiring neurons translated into a reduced ability to categorize images and therefore recall memories.

“We were fascinated to observe how sleep deprivation dampened brain cell activity,” lead study author Dr. Yuval Nir explained in a press release. “The neurons responded slowly, fired more weakly, and their transmissions dragged on longer than usual.”

Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp
Pinterest
Reddit
Delicious
LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

READ NEXT

6 Early Signs of Liver Damage to Watch Out For

Your liver does a lot for your health. As one of the body’s largest organs, it’s responsible for metabolic functions like converting nutrients from your diet so your body can

15 Signs of Diabetes to Watch Out For

While diabetes is manageable, it can shorten your life considerably. It can also up your risk of things like blindness, heart attack, and even loss of a foot. Check out

Anti-Oxidant Foods for a Healthy, Glowing Skin

  Berries Berries are the richest sources of antioxidants and an ideal food for the radiant and youthful skin. One study found that blueberry, blackberry, and strawberries also contain gallic

8 Foods That Can Cause Constipation 

Being constipated means your bowel movements are tough or happen less often than normal. Almost everyone goes through it at some point. Although it’s not usually serious, you’ll feel much

9 Easy Natural Remedies For Headaches

Massage Though relief is temporary, massaging the aching areas will help reduce headache pain. You can try rubbing the temples, neck, back, head, and shoulders to see if the throbbing

5 Strange Reasons You Can’t Sleep

Sometimes the reason you’re tossing and turning at night is clear. Maybe you’re leading a huge meeting the next morning, or you ate a huge meal way too close to

5 Shocking Reasons Your Hair Is Thinning

Losing your hair can change your life in many ways. According to the American Hair Loss Association, around two-thirds of men will begin to lose their hair by age 35.

7 Proven Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea has been used as a medicine for thousands of years, originating in China but widely used throughout Asia, this beverage has a multitude of uses from lowering blood

8 Natural Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure

According to American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, almost half of Americans have high blood pressure. High blood pressure is also known as hypertension and can ne

Scroll to Top