Health and Fitness
How Does Sleep Affect Your Health
Sleep deprivation is increasingly becoming a common problem in modern society. Many people are lacking quality sleep at some point in their lives. Occasional sleep interruptions are nothing more than a nuisance; however, continuous lack of sleep can lead to several health complications and even lower your overall quality of life. Most people focus on exercise and having a healthy diet to improve their quality of life, but it’s time we prioritized getting enough sleep as well. In this text, we’ll highlight some key points about sleep deprivation to help you get the rest you need:
There are many reasons why you may not be getting a healthy amount of sleep. For starters, people have busy schedules and intentionally choose not to sleep for the recommended amount of time to do other things like work, study, or entertainment. This creates inconsistent sleep-wake patterns that can lead to the accumulation of sleep debt and affect your quality of sleep in the long run. There are a number of environmental factors that can make it difficult for you to fall and stay asleep, including too much noise and/or light, extreme temperatures, an uncomfortable bed, and electronics in the bedroom. Some mental and health conditions such as depression, anxiety, tonsils, colds, back pain, and asthma can also prevent deep sleep, which in turn affects your sleep quality. While there are several other factors that can hinder you from getting sufficient sleep, it’s important to rule out sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia, or restless legs syndrome.
A night without enough sleep will leave you feeling tired, sleepy, and irritable. It also makes it difficult to concentrate, which can affect your decision-making and even increase your risk of accidents and injury at work, home, and on the road. Over time, lack of sleep can negatively affect several systems in the body and make you prone to serious health and mental conditions. For starters, sleep deprivation prevents the body from producing more cytokines (infection-fighting substances), thereby disrupting your immune system. It’s only during sleep that neurons in the brain help to process new information. Lack of sufficient sleep will hinder that, leaving your brain exhausted and unable to perform its duties. Continuous lack of sleep also increases your risk of health ailments, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity, depression, respiratory issues, anxiety, and even affect hormone production.
Treatment and Prevention
Treatment is only necessary if you can’t sleep due to physical or psychological difficulties. Lack of sleep can be resolved using over-the-counter medications. Unfortunately, many people end up forming a dependency on sleeping medications. Luckily, there are several non-medical measures you can take to improve the quality of your sleep. Start by making your bed as comfortable as possible with one of many top mattresses available for every kind of sleeper. Other ways to ensure a comfortable bedroom for better sleep is by keeping it dark, cool, and quiet, as well as removing any distractions from your bedroom, including electronics, work materials, and clutter.