Drowsiness is not the only problemrelated to lack of sleep. Increases in bloodpressure and levels of stress hormonesare 2 of the short-term health effects associatedwith too little sleep, according to anarticle published in the Harvard HealthLetter (August 2004). The articleexplained that when the body is sleepdeprived it has more difficulty processingblood sugar and has reduced levels ofleptin, an appetite-suppressing hormone.As a result, these changes can increasethe risk of weight gain and diabetes. Lackof sleep also increases inflammation inthe body, which is a key factor in thedevelopment of heart disease.
The Harvard Health Letter offers thefollowing tips on how individuals mayimprove sleep: