You say hello panic attacks (and belly fat) ... There's a reason sleep deprivation is a popular torture technique. When you pull an all-nighter, your cortisol (aka stress hormone) levels spike. Typically, cortisol levels drop as you approach your regular bedtime, but studies found that after just one night of no sleep, cortisol in sleep-deprived individuals decreased six times slower the following night than control subjects' who were snoozing as usual. The end result? A major cortisol buildup. High levels of the "stress hormone" reduce your ability to handle stress, making you more prone to panic attacks and chronic depression. The buildup also kick-starts a vicious cycle: you're tired during the day and can't sleep at night as your stress and the hormone begin to pile up. Best of all? Several studies have linked cortisol to high levels of belly fat in women.
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