If you have been burning the candle at both ends, you probably have noticed that bad sleeping habits leave you feeling grouchy and tired. But, how is sleep deprivation effecting your health? Not only does lack of sleep effect one’s mood and stamina, regular poor sleep also puts you at risk of serious medical conditions. These conditions include obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and shorter life expectancy.
Why sleep is good?
A good night’s sleep is essential in allowing your body to recover daily and facilitate natural bodily function. It can even boost your immune system’s ability to fend off illness. Most people don’t know that while youre snoozing, the body repairs damaged tissue, produces crucial hormones, and strengthens memories—a process called consolidation. You are able to perform a new skill better after sleeping than you would if you spent an equivalent amount of time awake.
Sleep is crucial for good health. It helps memory and mood, keeps you trim, strengthens your immune system, fights inflammation, and keeps your heart and blood vessels in tip-top shape.
Effects of lack of sleep.
A study done by Harvard University reported that people who slept fewer than six hours per night on a regular basis were much more likely to have excess body weight, while people who slept an average of eight hours per night had the lowest relative body fat of the study group. Another study found that babies who are short sleepers are much more likely to develop obesity later in childhood than those who sleep the recommended amount.
Your body’s physical strength is dependent on proper sleep and rest in order to restore its natural ability to ward off sickness. In a recent study, people who averaged less than seven hours of sleep a night were about three times more likely to develop cold symptoms than study volunteers who got eight or more hours of sleep when exposed to the cold-causing rhinovirus. In addition, those individuals who got better quality sleep were the least likely to come down with a cold.
There is also growing evidence of a connection between sleep loss caused by obstructive sleep apnea and an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease, and irregular heartbeat. A recent study found that even modestly reduced sleep (six to seven hours per night) was associated with a greatly increased the risk of coronary artery calcification, a predictor of future myocardial infarction (heart attack) and death due to heart disease. Proper sleep also helps protect against diabetes.
Studies have suggested that people who usually sleep less than five hours a night have an increased risk of having or developing diabetes. When you sleep, the body processes glucose, the high-energy carbohydrate that cells use for fuel. Studies have shown that people who reported sleeping fewer than five hours per night had a greatly increased risk of having or developing type 2 diabetes.
So, instead of watching television late into the night and working long days, you may want to listen to your body and recuperate properly. Lay off the caffeine. One cup of coffee or tea in the morning is fine, however, dependency on caffeinated beverages is no substitute for a goodnight’s rest. Regular exercise, whether early or late, will facilitate good sleep patterns. If you exercise, you will find it easier to fall asleep on time and the sleep you get will be better. The best thing to do before going to sleep is to meditate, relax your mind and let your thoughts be clear. Most everyone at one time or another has trouble sleeping, but in the long term poor sleeping habits can adversely affect your overall health.