The Dangers of not getting enough sleep
Believe it or not, one in 3 of us suffers from poor sleep, with stress, computers, smartphones and taking work home often blamed. However, the cost of all those sleepless nights is more than just bad moods and a lack of focus.
Sleeping also helps control your appetite and your weight due to hormones released from fat cells known as Leptin and Ghrelin. Leptin suppresses hunger and signals to your brain when you’re full. Whereas Ghrelin is named the “hunger hormone”, is responsible for telling your brain you’re hungry and to seek out food. When you don’t get adequate rest, the body produces more Ghrelin and less Leptin, leaving you hungry and increasing your appetite.
While an occasional night without sleep makes you feel tired and irritable the next day, it won’t kill you. Although after several sleepless nights, the mental effects can become more serious. Your brain will start to fog, causing difficulty in concentration and decision-making. You’ll start to feel down, lethargic or fall asleep during the day. This can result in an increase to your risk of injury and accidents, while also being detrimental to both your physical and mental health.
Sleep is essential for a healthy heart too. People who don’t sleep enough are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease—regardless of age, weight, smoking and exercise habits. Getting enough good quality rest is important if you want to lower your risk of these conditions. It’s not completely clear why less sleep is detrimental to heart health, but researchers understand that sleeping too little causes disruptions in underlying health conditions and biological processes like glucose metabolism, blood pressure, and inflammation. The same may be true for oversleeping as well.
A good night’s sleep can boost your immune system and protect you against viral infections
Numerous studies have shown a clear link between stress and poor sleep, which makes you more vulnerable to viral infections. If COVID19 springs to mind, there is no evidence showing that adequate sleep can protect you from the new coronavirus. But there is no harm in making sure you get the rest you need these days to keep your immune system strong!
When you don’t have adequate sleep, you aren’t equipping your immune system with the tools it needs to fight back. Lack of rest raises your chances of catching an infection, while also hindering your ability to recover from one.
Bottom line is sleep plays a key role in both your physical and mental health. The benefits of a good night’s rest are endless, just as the negative complications from loss of sleep are. To get the most out of yourself, you need to be moving around every day, eating the right foods to fuel your body and getting the best possible rest you can. Through these 3 elements you can sustainably achieve a healthier and happier life.