Not only do you feel terrible when you do not get enough sleep at night, but your body also takes a hit. You may not recognize the negative effects of sleep deprivation in the short-term, but in the long-term your habits will definitely take a toll on your overall health. Sleep is in some ways just as important as breathing. Even though you know you need to sleep, you might not know why. Below are ten health benefits of sleep:
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Sleep might not seem as though it is related to your weight, but it certainly is. First of all, if you are well rested, you will have more motivation to do things like going to the gym and even taking the time to cook a healthier meal. There are also certain hormones that are released in your brain that make you feel fuller when you have had enough sleep. On the contrary, when you do not get enough sleep, a hormone is released that can cause you to over eat.
Boost Immune System
If you have ever gone through a week with little sleep and then came down with a cold, you have experienced the consequences of sleep deprivation on your immune system. Getting enough sleep is key to keeping your immune system functioning well.
Lack of sleep can cause insulin resistance over the long-term. Insulin helps the body to turn glucose into energy. If there is a disturbance with this process, your blood sugar can rise out of control. As a result, diabetes can develop due to lack of sleep.
Fights Heart Disease
Lack of sleep can result in strain on the heart through other diseases like type 2 diabetes or even the increased in C-reactive proteins in the body. The release of these proteins can lead to inflammation and then potentially heart disease.
If you have ever had to interact with people after getting only 5 hours of sleep or less, you can probably relate to how irritable and moody it made you feel. When you are tired, you are cranky, and when you are cranky, you are definitely no fun to be around. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night is important for your own happiness as well as everyone else’s around you.
Healthy Brain Function
Sleep aids in memory formation and recollection, learning abilities, creativity, and even attentiveness. Your brain does not work at full capacity when you are running on empty.
Fight High Blood Pressure
Sleep helps regulate the stress hormone cortisol, which aids in the proper functioning of your nervous system. This is more of a long-term affect that gets worse with age.
Related to the heart and other functional parts of the body, lack of sleep increases dangerous inflammation. The only way to avoid this is to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
The hormone cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, is released in higher doses when you are sleep-deprived. This also has a lot to do with your overall mood when you are tired. If you are struggling to stay awake, you are bound to be less productive. Because of that, you might feel more stress and pressure.
Studies show that people with depression have apparent symptoms of insomnia and people who struggle to get the recommended amount of sleep at night are more likely to become depressed. This again, has to do with your overall mood and how sleep regulates your emotional health.
Dealing With Sleep Issues
Sometimes, what is keeping you from a good night’s rest is not as simple as your bedroom temperature. For around 70 million Americans, a sleep disorder plagues their nights (and days), and makes a restful slumber near impossible. You could be one of these people. If your sleepless nights are becoming habitual, along with certain symptoms, it may be a sign that you have a more serious sleep problem.
Sleep apnea, one of the most common sleep disorders that affect millions of people, is characterized by episodes of cessation of breathing (apnea) during sleep. Aside from observed apnea, other symptoms include load snoring, waking with a headache, and excessive daytime sleepiness. Treatment for sleep apnea involves continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy using a machine that provides a constant flow of pressurized air down the user’s throat to help them breathe better during sleep.
Sleep apnea can affect anyone, even young children. If you suspect you have it or another sleep disorder, see your doctor to get treated immediately and rest easy at night.
Sleep is something you need to do in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Luckily, sleeping is not as tough as getting to the gym or trying to balance a healthy diet! If you want to learn about more interesting facts about sleep, then please visit: REAL SLEEP BY REAL SIMPLE