From changes in mood to an increased risk for diabetes, a Nature World News report examines the possible health consequences of lack of sleep.

Higher Risk for Obesity and Diabetes

Studies from Harvard Medical School show a strong link between weight gain and sleep deprivation. These research have shown that people who usually sleep for less than six hours per night are more likely to have a body mass index that is higher than average.

When we sleep, our bodies secrete hormones that aid in controlling appetite, glucose processing and energy metabolism. When we fail to get sleep, we disrupt the balance and natural processes of our body.

Researchers also found that lack of sleep can lead to diabetes since our body processes glucose, or simple sugars, slower. Several studies revealed that adults who sleep less than 5 hours per night have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Mood Swings

Did you ever feel more irritable when you’re running on less sleep? It is possible that chronic sleep deprivation may lead to long-term mood disorders. Anxiety, depression and mental distress have all been linked to chronic sleep issues.

Dr. Steven Feinsilver, director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine, said that even a low level of sleep deprivation can adversely impact cognitive and emotional function, as per Live Science.

Mood swings, such as short temper, can start very minor, then grow more aggressive and unstable over time.

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