It Protects Against Stress
A lack of sleep causes stress, resulting in the release of the hormone, cortisol, into the bloodstream. Cortisol is useful “fight or flight” hormone that is dangerous if levels are chronically raised, causing a wide variety of problems, such as decreased wound healing, decreased muscle mass, more abdominal fat, high blood pressure, and dampened thyroid function.
The full range of effects of chronic stress upon the body are almost too many to name, but chief among them are cardiovascular problems, lowered sex drive, anxiety, headaches, and upset stomach. Stress is something which touches every area of your life, decrease your overall quality of life, especially over a long period of time.
Stress also causes a disruption of sleep, again leading to a cycle of poor sleep, bad health, and bad health causing further poor sleep.
Chronic sleep loss almost always results in a lowering of the quality of whatever sleep you do get, so avoid adding an extra stressor to your life, and get adequate sleep.