A few days back, I spent the night tossing and turning. It made me tired and cranky the next day. But not taking enough sleep has many more side-effects than just making you irritable.
With immense competition, our time has so many demands. We have jobs, friends, families and many other things, which require our time. So, intentionally or unintentionally, in order to fit in everything we usually sacrifice sleep. We forget how important sleep is for our mental and physical health. Our body shows sleep deprivation symptoms very early on, but we usually ignore them. This is when we go utterly wrong.
Reasons Why Sleep Is Important
Sleep is just like eating, drinking and breathing. Well, many people don’t think this way. But similar to eating or breathing, if we don’t get enough sleep we are usually in a bad state.
Do you ever get sudden headaches or feelings of anxiety – seemingly from out of the blue?
Remember that sleep resets your brain. It allows your body and brain to relax and repair itself.
Some of the perks of a good sleep include:
- Smaller Appetite
- Better Concentration
- Higher Productivity
- Less Risk Of Heart Disease
- Improved Immune System
How Sleep Impacts All Aspects of Your Wellness
As noted, poor sleep can affect your immune system, appetite, breathing, blood pressure and heart health.
Here we will discuss each aspect that is affected by sleep.
Poor Sleep Promotes weight Gain
Studies show that people who sleep less can weigh more than those who get enough sleep: children and adults who get less than average sleep were 89% more likely to be obese. Sleep helps you to maintain a healthy balance of hormones that regulate appetite. Lack of sleep prompts the level of ghrelin (the hunger hormone) to rise and your level of leptins to go down.
Risk of Heart Disease
Did you know that not only the duration of sleep but also the quality of sleep affects the health?
Studies found out that sleep deprivation or unhealthy sleep leads increased risk for heart disease. The risk of hypertension, stroke, or irregular heartbeat is also higher in the people who don’t get enough sleep.
Risk of Diabetes
Though diabetes occurs for many reasons, insufficient sleep is one of them. In simple words, sleep affects how the body reacts to insulin. When we sleep less, the body generates a higher blood sugar level. This may increase the risk of diabetes. This experiment shows that restriction of sleep reduces the sensitivity of insulin.
Weak Immune System
We all know how the immune system works. It defends our body from being affected by all types of diseases.
Did you know that even a small loss of sleep could lead to impaired immune function?
It is shocking, right?
Yes, it is.
Studies show that the immune system relies on healthy sleep. Sleep deficiency can change the way the immune system works.
Typically, mental health is not discussed much but it has been estimated that 90% of people with depression complain about sleep quantity.
It’s Time To Re-Think The Way We Deal With Sleep
Imagine not getting enough food to eat. Yes, you can survive for days and weeks with only water, but it will be very difficult for you to live like a normal human being . You will feel irritated and tired just because you didn’t get food. Yes, I know you are busy and you have to manage many things, but sacrificing your sleep for that is a steep price to pay. Good sleep, nutrition and exercise are the 3 pillars of robust health.