Getting a good night’s sleep is very important for your health. It is as important as eating a balanced, healthy diet and exercising.
Although sleep requirements vary from person to person, most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night. However, up to 35% of adults in the United States do not get enough sleep.
Poor sleep can put your health and safety at risk, which is why it is important to prioritize and protect your daily sleep.
This article gives you reasons why you need to get more sleep.
Table of Contents
It can help you maintain or lose weight
Many studies have been linked to short sleep – defined as having less than 7 hours of sleep per night – with a greater risk of weight gain and higher body mass index (BMI). A 2020 study found that adults who slept less than 7 hours a night had a 41% increased risk of obesity. At that time, prolonged sleep did not increase the risk.
The effect of sleep on weight gain is believed to be influenced by many factors, including hormones and motivation for exercise.
For example, insomnia increases ghrelin levels and lowers leptin levels. Ghrelin is a hormone that makes us feel hungry while leptin makes us feel full. This can make us feel hungry and overeat.
This is supported by various studies that have shown that sleepless people have a strong appetite and tend to eat more calories.
In addition, to compensate for the lack of energy, lack of sleep may make you crave sugary and fatty foods, due to their high-calorie content.
To make matters worse, feeling tired after a short nap may leave you feeling lethargic going to the gym, going for a walk, or engaging in any other physical activity that you enjoy.
Thus, prioritizing sleep may support healthy weight loss.
It can improve concentration and productivity
Sleep is important for a variety of brain functions. Insight, concentration, productivity, and performance are all affected negatively by sleep deprivation.
Some studies of overworked doctors provide a good example. It found that doctors with moderate, high, and severe sleep-related disabilities were 54%, 96%, and 97% more likely to report significant health errors.
Similarly, getting enough sleep can improve academic performance for children, teens, and adults. Finally, good sleep has been shown to improve problem-solving skills and improve memory function in children and adults.
It can increase athletic performance
Sleep has been shown to improve athletic performance.
Numerous studies have shown that getting enough sleep can improve motivation, response time, muscle strength, muscle endurance, and problem-solving skills.
In addition, lack of sleep can increase the risk of injury and reduce your motivation for exercise.
Therefore, getting enough sleep may be just what you need to take your performance to the next level.
Strengthen your heart
Low sleep quality and duration may increase the risk of heart disease.
Another study of 19 studies found that sleeping less than 7 hours a day caused a 13% increase in the risk of dying from heart disease.
Another analysis found that compared with 7 hours of sleep, each decrease in 1 hour of sleep was associated with an increased 6% risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.
In addition, short sleep appears to increase the risk of high blood pressure, especially in those with sleep disorders – a condition characterized by sleep disturbances during sleep.
One study found that people who slept less than 5 hours a night were 61% more likely to have a high blood pressure than those who slept 7 hours. Interestingly, sleep deprivation in adults – over 9 hours – has also been shown to increase the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.
It affects sugar metabolism and the risk of type 2 diabetes
Sleep deprivation is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance – a condition in which your body is unable to utilize the insulin hormone.
A review of 36 studies in more than 1 million participants found that very short sleep less than 5 hours and shorter sleep less than 6 hours increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 48% and 18% respectively.
It is thought that sleep deprivation can cause physical changes such as decreased insulin sensitivity, increased inflammation, and hormonal changes, as well as behavioral changes such as poor diet and overeating – all of which increase the risk of diabetes.
In addition, insomnia is associated with an increased risk of obesity, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome. These factors also increase your risk of diabetes.
Insomnia is related to stress
Mental health concerns, such as depression, are strongly linked to poor sleep quality and sleep disturbances.
Another study of 2,672 participants found that those with anxiety and depression were more likely to report poor sleep points than those without anxiety and depression.
In some studies, people with sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea also reported higher levels of depression than those without.
If you have trouble sleeping and you notice that your mental health is deteriorating, it is important to talk to your healthcare professional.
Supports healthy immune systems
Lack of sleep has been shown to interfere with immune function.
In one study, participants who slept less than 5 hours per night were 4.5 times more likely to have the flu than those who slept more than 7 hours a night. Those who slept 5-6 hours had a chance of 4.24.
Some data also suggest that proper sleep may improve your body’s response to the flu vaccine.
Recently, preliminary data suggest that adequate sleep before and after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine may improve vaccine efficacy. However, further research is needed to better understand these possible connections.
Insomnia is associated with an increase in inflammation
Insomnia can have a profound effect on inflammation.
Sleep plays an important role in regulating our central nervous system. In particular, it is involved in stress response systems known as the sensory system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.
Loss of sleep, especially due to poor sleep, is known to activate inflammatory signals and lead to high levels of undesirable inflammatory markers, such as interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein.
Over time, chronic inflammation can lead to the development of many chronic conditions, including obesity, heart disease, certain types of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and type 2 diabetes.
Affects emotions and social interactions
Loss of sleep reduces your ability to control emotions and to communicate with people.
When we are tired, we have a hard time controlling our emotions and our behavior in front of others. Fatigue may affect our ability to respond to jokes and show empathy.
Also, those who do not get regular sleep are more likely to withdraw from social events and be lonely.
Sleep prioritizing can be a great way to improve your relationships with others and help you keep in touch with people.
Sleep Improves Your Memory
Researchers do not fully understand why we sleep and dream, but they do find that sleep plays a key role in the process called memory activation. events, input sensors, emotions, and memories. Deep sleep is a very important time for your brain to process memories and connections, and extra quality sleep will help you remember and process things better.