1. You are more likely to gain weight.
When the human body doesn’t get enough sleep, the stress hormone “cortisol” climbs and markers of inflammation rise. Hormones that stimulate our appetites begin to increase while the hormones that blunt the appetite decrease. Studies have shown that when people are deprived of sleep, their brain changes the way in which it responds to high-calorie junk foods. When the human body is not well rested, there is a sharp reduction in the frontal cortex, which is a higher-level part of the brain where consequences are weighed and rational decisions are made.1 During this time, sweets and other foods that cause stimulation to brain become much more appealing than healthier options.

Also, those who stay up late will probably gain weight through the act of snacking. If you go to bed at normal time, you probably won’t fall asleep hungry. However, the later you stay up, the more time has passed since you ate dinner. If you eat dinner at 6:00 and are up at 12:00, then of course you are going to be hungry—It’s been six hours since you ate! So go to bed before you get hungry again, because you won’t be burning those extra calories off in your sleep!

2. Your skin will age faster.
Have you ever had someone day that you don’t look so good, in which you responded to by saying—Ya, I hardly got any sleep last night? Every time we don’t get enough sleep, we wake up with bags underneath our eyes. Well this is because of that same hormone “cortisol” which was mentioned earlier. “In excess amounts, cortisol can break down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic…chronic sleep loss can lead to [permanent] lackluster skin, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes. ”

3. You will have a more difficult time learning.
“For something to become a memory, three functions must occur: Acquisition — learning or experiencing something new. Consolidation — the memory becomes stable in the brain. Recall — having the ability to access the memory in the future”.3 Both acquisition and recall are functions that take place when we are awake. However, sleep is required for consolidation of a memory! “Without adequate sleep, your brain has a harder time absorbing and recalling new information.”

So perhaps you should consider getting a good night’s sleep before that next big test!

4. Depression
Lack of sleep can start before depression, be a symptom of depression, and make depression worse. “Depression is a brain illness, and it affects many types of brain functions, including the sleep-wake cycle. Once this biologic clock has been disturbed, it can make sleep even more irregular and that adds to the depression. It can become a vicious cycle for many people.”

This “vicious cycle” is very hard to get out of. Depression is no joke; it will affect you and those around you. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the cycle.

If you are reading this after midnight, go to bed!