Lack of sleep can be detrimental to your health; find out why
We are all guilty of not getting enough sleep. It seems there isn’t enough time in the evenings for most people to do everything they need or want to before bed. From the kids’ homework and bedtime routines to cleaning up or finishing the work you brought home, there’s always something we need to do before we can finally hit the hay. Whatever the reason you’re not getting enough sleep, it’s negatively affecting your health.
Sleep health is a fairly new field of research that examines how we sleep, what’s going on in the body while we’re sleeping and the factors that impact our sleep. Lack of sleep drastically affects a variety of functions in the body as well as how we feel and look.
The amount of sleep you should get varies according to your age. On average, you should be getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Getting plenty of sleep can do wonders for your body and your overall well-being.
Here are five ways more sleep will actually improve your health:
- Brain function.
Sleep cleanses your mind.
While the rest of your body is in a deep slumber, your brain is cleaning house. The flow of cerebrospinal fluid increases dramatically during sleep and sweeps away harmful toxins and waste proteins that build up between brain cells while you’re awake. This process strengthens and builds new pathways between cells that help you concentrate and react to situations more efficiently.
Sleep also improves the brain’s ability to learn, store and recall information. When you aren’t getting enough sleep you may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, remembering things and controlling your emotions and behavior.
- Lung health.
Your breathing slows down and becomes more regular while you sleep.
We often forget to “take a breather” during the day, and our lungs need rest to remain healthy. Your breathing goes through sporadic changes on a daily basis. Rapid breathing occurs when you are excited or angry, heavy breathing occurs when you exercise, and if you’re a talker, then shortness of breath is a daily occurrence too.
- Stomach function and appetite control.
More sleep can help keep food cravings under control.
Yes, your stomach needs sleep too. Sleep deficiency causes hormones like ghrelin and insulin to increase. Your body begins to crave high-carb and high-sugar foods, which can, in turn, increase the chances of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
Sleep helps balance these hormones and, subsequently, hunger (ghrelin), fullness (leptin) and weight gain (insulin, the master of fat storage).
- Muscle health.
More sleep means a stronger physical body.
The body’s growth hormones, which help you repair and grow new tissue, are closely linked to the deep or slow-wave sleep stage. Most growth hormones are produced and released during deep sleep and assist in rebuilding muscles and joints.
Lack of sleep does the opposite. It increases a stress hormone called cortisol that further reduces growth hormone production due to a poor night’s sleep and inhibits new tissue growth and repair.
- Heart health.
Adequate sleep reduces your chance of heart disease.
A good night’s sleep is crucial for heart health. Your heart works harder than every part of your body. Sleep gives your heart the opportunity to de-stress by reducing your heart rate and lowering your blood pressure. No matter your age, not getting enough sleep puts you at higher risks for cardiovascular and other heart diseases.
It’s important to maintain a solid sleep schedule with at least the minimal requirement of sleep for your age. Sleep deprivation is a real medical condition and can be detrimental to your health at any age.
More sleep can improve your brain function and your mood, steady your breathing, strengthen your muscles and lower your heart rate and blood pressure. It can also reduce the risks of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other heart diseases.
It’s important to talk to your physician if you feel that your sleep schedule is affecting your well-being. Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center urges you to keep your body feeling healthy and well rested with the right amount of sleep for you.
If you have any questions or concerns about your sleep patterns or health in general, don’t hesitate to contact Velocity Care. Visit our website to find a walk-in clinic near you.
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