This Is What Happens to Your Brain When You Don't Get Enough Sleep


Sleep is a basic biological necessity that profoundly affects our day-to-day life as well as our long-term well-being. After just one bad night’s sleep, the quality of our entire day can be compromised—we feel sluggish, less motivated, less adept, and moodier. When lack of sleep begins adding up, though, the effects are exponential. The body and brain quickly begin to suffer the consequences of that missed shut-eye. Long story short, what happens when you don’t get enough sleep isn’t pretty. In fact, sleep deprivation is so detrimental to one’s mental and physical health that it’s even been used by the CIA as a controversial method to interrogate detainees.

Meanwhile, we often fall victim to sleep deprivation due to poor sleep hygiene, insomnia, or simply sacrificing sleep to be awake longer doing other things. And while it’s possible to bounce back from an all-nighter here and there, regularly not getting enough sleep can have some serious side effects.
Stress Spikes

Sleep is a restorative time for your body, when cells repair themselves and systems are regulated. When you don’t get enough sleep, you deprive yourself of this incredibly important restorative time. Sleep helps to regulate stress hormones and keep the nervous system healthy, so when you’re not getting enough of it, your hormones and nervous system fall out of whack. Hormones are responsible for your mood, energy, and appetite—so when these too are thrown off, sleep deprivation can really take a toll on your whole body and quality of life.
Cognitive Impairment

It goes without saying that when you lose sleep, your brain simply doesn’t function optimally. But when you’re regularly sleep deprived, what happens upstairs can be much worse than brain fog. A study tested on mice and published in The Journal of Neuroscience found sleep loss caused phagocytes—or specialized cells that engulf other cells to clear away byproducts of neural activity from the day—to go into overdrive. In other words, when you’re depriving yourself of sleep, your brain is more likely to essentially eat away at itself. Like I said, not pretty.

No New Memories

“We certainly know that a lack of sleep will actually prevent your brain from being able to initially make new memories, so it’s almost as though without sleep, the memory inbox of the brain shuts down and you can’t commit new experiences to memory,” University of California, Berkeley, neuroscience and psychology professor and Why We Sleep author Matthew Walker explains in a video on Business Insider. “So those new incoming informational emails are just bounced, and you end up feeling as though you’re amnesiac.”

Beyond that, skimping on sleep can be even more damaging for memory in the long run. “We also know that a lack of sleep will lead to an increased development of a toxic protein in the brain that is called beta-amyloid, and that is associated with Alzheimer’s disease," explains Walker. Your brain gets rid of the toxin during sleep, so if you don’t give it a chance to cleanse, the protein builds up, increasing your risk of developing dementia later in life.

High Blood Pressure

As mentioned above, when you don’t get enough sleep, your body isn’t as readily able to regulate your stress hormones. This leads to high blood pressure. Several studies have found a correlation between sleep disorders and hypertension. Additionally, studies where participants were deprived of sleep were shown to acutely increase blood pressure as well as sympathetic nervous system activity.

Because sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on your hormones, it also messes with your metabolism and eating habits. Since the appetite is regulated by the interaction between metabolic and hormonal signals, when your hormones are imbalanced, the communication wires can become crossed. In one study, ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone, had a negative association with sleep time (meaning the less sleep had, the higher the levels of ghrelin) while leptin, a hunger-inhibiting hormone, had a positive association with sleep duration.

Decreased Libido

What’s the secret to enhancing your sex drive? A good night’s rest. In a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School studied the sleep and sex patterns of 171 female college students over the duration of two weeks, controlling for factors like age, hormonal birth control, and antidepressants. The study found that for every extra hour of sleep a woman received, she was 14% more likely to engage in sexual activity with a partner.
Skin Woes

Last but not least, skimping on sleep definitely takes a toll on your skin. On Byrdie, we’ve regularly covered how getting a good night’s rest is one of the best things you can do for your skin. When you’re sleeping, your damaged cells have an opportunity to repair themselves. If you don’t give your body this time of rest, you’re cutting into the restorative process. Furthermore, collagen production accelerates when you sleep, helping to combat visible signs of aging like wrinkles and loss of volume.

So, ready for a nap? Us too. But now we have seven more reasons to get to bed earlier tonight.


I willl get enough sleep when I’m dead




It was a good read bro, I am prescribed sleeping meds from the VA, and they kinda work, I just can’t sleep more then 1 hour straight, i woke up no less then 7x a night, I haven’t slept “normally” since before the military n being over seas, also I’m sure the AAS play a role to, however I still have PLENTY of energy during the day, so, I guess I’m doing ok


Is there a possibility you have sleep apnea? I was just recently diagnosed with it…now I sleep like a baby.


I have sleep apnea, every time I get around 240lbs + my doctor said its more than likely related to my neck getting thick when I add size. He recommended a cpap mask, which I declined because I couldnt imagine sleeping with something on my face. But after talking to other guys im reconsidering being I was told I would feel like a new man after getting some real sleep.


I was diagnosed in October of last year and had the hardest time coming to terms with it. I had the same sentiments about the mask but now that I have been on my cpap for about a month now I regret not getting it sooner. I talked to other guys on the job as well and they all told me they will never sleep without it.


I don’t have it my doc n I just went over all that, if I was like tired n dragging ass all day it would bother me more, but I’m not, the second I get outta bed I’m rippin n roaring all day… so it is what it is


Any sleep apnea questions? Ask away. Cpap masks, if you can call them that, and hygiene have gotten so non invasive. I was in the field and had it really bad myself. I’ve had subjects have over 200 events in less than a full night. That’s like pinching the nose , covering the mouth and for 20 sec varies a lot. Nothing to f with and it doesn’t get as much attention because there’s a couple non pharma treatments…one is to exercise and lose weight. The earth Vader mask of old and if it’s obstructive or being big. Waking up, sometimes choking for air is defensive, so throw in some sleep]ing meds and its worse.


I used just the small nasal pillows as my cpap attachment with a strap that goes around the back of my head. I don’t think I could get used to that huge bulky face piece mask.


Its a deal breaker in the bedroom, so get the job done, then break out the mask😀. I knew I had my soul mate when she didn’t scream at my old mask years ago. Cpap machine, the bulky mask , the bbing mags with guys in Speedos, and the amps and such. If a woman will take you after that not to mention the protein gas…well you better hang on tight.




Dude i use a cpap and it is a life changer! I cannot sleep without it anymore. It take a bit getting used to but will be the all time best move you ever make in your life for your health. Please my bro take my advice and get on it. When i did my sleep study i was told that i had over 200 apneas in the 8 hours i was in the study. Apnea is when you stop breathing long enough to disrupt your sleep pattern. There are 4 1 hour parts of sleep cycle that you need to complete in order to have restorative sleep r.e.m. sleep or rapid eye movement sleep are 3rd and 4th parts of the cycle and are where your body dreams and heals itself. Everytime you wake up you have to start the cycles from the beginning so if you are not staying asleep through the whole night then you wont make it through the 4 different parts and never get the r.e.m. sleep that is so vital to overall health.


My girl loves me and all the fkd up shit that comes with this big hairy bodied bald headed human pin cushioned ass! She is the most sexy sweetest loving caring bad ass bitch in the world and is my equivalent with a vagina! We even have opposing half sleeve tattoos mine on my left arm and hers on her right lol we are the ying and yang to each other and she has been there through my very worst times in my life and now at my very best! Plus she gave me 2 beautiful healthy smart perfect children so im one lucky MF :blue_heart: if you have someone that loves you for who you are then treat them as you would want to be treated and make sure you show them how much they mean to you because talk is cheap and anyone can say “i love you” while they are fucking your best friend behind your back.


We all lucky mofos, I guess. LOL. I’m glad everyone uses their c pap.


Good info right here. Thanks.


Of course my man always here to help my fellow brothas anytime :facepunch:t2:


Yes we are for sure!