Have you recently been waking up around the same time each night? Well, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), that time could signify an imbalance in a specific organ system. TCM theory believes that our spiritual well-being and physical health are directly connected to internal systems and rhythms, which help govern our bodily functions.
Lack of Sleep: Effects of Sleep Deprivation
We all know that a good night’s sleep is crucial for your body to regulate and function properly — but just how important is sleep? In the short term, a lack of adequate sleep can affect judgment, mood, ability to learn and retain information, and may increase the risk of serious accidents and injury.
Research has shown that even a few days of sleep disruption can cause (1):
- Weight gain
- Increased caloric intake and appetite
- Increased inflammation (and inflammatory markers)
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased cortisol levels (a stress hormone)
- Increased blood sugar levels and insulin
Long-term sleep impairment can lead to a host of health problems including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early mortality (2).