The body needs sleep as much as it needs to breathe and eat. While sleeping, the body is busy tending to the physical and mental health of the body, keeping the nervous system working properly, producing antibodies to strengthen the immune system, healing and repairing blood vessels, and keeping the heart. All of this is stopped when the body doesn't get the sleep it needs. Sleep deprivation causes damage to the body in the short term, preventing the central nervous system to not function properly, weaken the immune system, and lead to problems with the cardiovascular system.
The central nervous system is the information highway of the body. Sleep deprivation leaves the brain exhausted, so it can’t perform its duties well. The most obvious effect is sleepiness, which will cause the body to yawn a lot and feel sluggish. Lack of sleep interferes with the ability to concentrate and learn new things. It can negatively impact both short-term and long-term memory. It gets in the way of your decision-making process and stifles creativity. Emotions are also affected, making it more likely to have a short temper and mood swings. Another side effect of sleep deprivation is micro sleep. Micro sleep is when the body falls asleep for only a few seconds or a few minutes, without the person realizing it. It can be extremely dangerous when driving and can also make someone more prone to injury due to trips and falls from the brain falling asleep. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, insufficient sleep has played a part in tragic accidents involving airplanes, ships, and even nuclear reactor meltdowns.
When sleeping, the immune system produces infection-fighting antibodies and cells. It uses these tools to fight off foreign substances like bacteria and viruses. Without the immune system producing the antibodies that it needs to, the body is more likely to catch illnesses like the common cold and influenza.