Getting a good night’s sleep is important for your physical and mental health, but do you know just how important? Our list shows 10 reasons why you should get the recommended minimum of seven hours slumber each night.
Sleep helps to look after your heart. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. It’s also believed to affect cholesterol levels, which play a significant role in heart disease.
Research indicates that people who get less than six hours sleep a night have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more. Inflammation is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and premature ageing.
Sleep helps to improve your physical performance. Lack of sleep has been shown to affect elderly women in particular, creating poor exercise performance and movement capability.
Poor sleep can be linked to obesity. Appetite hormones can be affected; this includes higher levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates appetite, and reduced levels of leptin, the hormone that suppresses appetite. This means that people tend to eat more calories if they are not getting enough rest. Lack of sleep can also affect motivation to exercise, which in turn can lead to putting on weight.
Changes in hormone levels due to lack of rest can also include changes in your blood sugar, which in turn can be linked to an increased risk for Type 2 diabetes.
Sleep is a natural way for the body to defend against germs and infection. Not getting enough shut-eye can weaken your immune system so you’re more likely to succumb to coughs and colds, and to recover more slowly.
Lack of sleep can affect your digestion through long term inflammation such as inflammatory bowel disease.
Low levels of sleep can affect your brain. This can be seen in poor levels of concentration and affected productivity and creativity in daily tasks, both at work and at home. Having enough sleep helps to enhance the capability of your memory too.
Mental health issues, such as depression, are strongly linked to poor sleep quality. It has been estimated that 90% of patients with depression complain about sleep quality. Extreme depression can also be further linked to a risk of suicide.
The simple things that you do every day can be affected by a lack of sleep. It can reduce our ability to interact with people and our moods with others and in situations. When you are tired you can be excessively happy one minute and tearful the next. It’s even been shown that insufficient sleep for just one night can be as detrimental to your driving ability as having an alcoholic drink!
Sleep is a natural stress buster and we all know that too much stress is not good for us in any form! There’s also some research that claims that not enough kip can be aligned with a shorter lifespan, and the number of potential illnesses that can be linked to sleep deprivation may go some way to proving this to be the case.