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We all know that we should be getting an average of eight hours of sleep every day. Young children will need much more, and the amount of sleep we need is diminished as we get older, but the fact remains that sleep is an essential activity for survival.
What many people don’t know is just how essential sleep is for our general health and wellbeing. A few late nights in a row might leave us feeling sluggish and grumpy, but did you know they can lead to weight gain? And long-term sleep deprivation has been linked to heart problems and even diabetes.
Finding the right bed is one of the simplest ways to combat poor sleep. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. Many people don’t know that you can find a good mattress simply by searching online. If you’re worried that your nightly tossing and turning is having an impact on your health, it might be time to upgrade. After all, these are just some of the health problems linked to poor sleep.
The simplest way that a lack of sleep can lead to weight gain is that when we are tired, we instinctively reach for accessible and calorific foods. If you get to the end of a long day and you didn’t sleep well the night before, you might be more tempted to tuck into a carb-rich takeaway before heading to bed. The occasional treat like this isn’t going to pile on the pounds, but if this is a regular occurence, it can quickly become problematic.
There is also a much more scientific reason that poor sleep can lead to weight gain. When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies release the stress hormone cortisol. High levels of cortisol in your blood cause you to reach for high-calorie foods to help you calm down.
Lack of sleep can also cause your hormones to fall out of balance, which can affect your ability to determine if you are hungry or full. All of this adds up to an environment where you are eating more than you need which will, in turn, lead to weight gain. It’s nearly impossible to lose weight without ensuring you are getting your full 8 hours sleep per night.
High levels of cortisol in your bloodstream not only impacts your weight but it can also take a toll on your heart. Poor sleep has been linked to high blood pressure, which puts extra strain on your heart and your arteries. This, in turn, can lead to inflammation which is a factor in many other diseases. Another negative impact of poor sleep on heart health is that tired people are much less likely to exercise. When we aren’t getting enough sleep, a trip to the gym will nearly always be pushed to the bottom of the list. Even a walk around the block might be too much for you to handle. This doesn’t only affect older people. Young people are just as much at risk of heart problems as the result of poor sleep.
Sleep helps to regulate glucose levels in the blood. If you are sleep deprived, you may find yourself reaching for more sugary snacks to keep your energy levels up. At the same time, sleep deprivation causes the body to release more insulin when you eat which affects your blood sugar levels. Going a long time with high insulin output puts you at higher risk of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a life-changing condition which requires daily medication and monitoring.
When you are sleep deprived your concentration and coordination will be affected. This can lead to trips and falls that would normally be avoided. Sleep deprivation has been linked to some of the biggest disasters in history, including Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. Drowsiness is also just as dangerous as drink driving as it can impair your reaction speeds in a similar way. People often assume that driving at night is the only time to be wary of drowsiness, but it can affect anyone at any time of day if they are suffering from sleep deprivation.
A study to help combat insomnia revealed that sleep deprivation can lead to anxiety, depression, hallucinations and paranoia. While the study was looking at the link between insomnia and depression, there is also evidence that disturbed sleep and low quality sleep can lead to mental health problems. If you struggle with mental health problems, seeking help for improving your quality of sleep could be a great first step to taking control.
The evidence is mounting that quality sleep is essential to ensure you remain healthy. If you’re trying to lose weight, keep your heart healthy or tackle mental health problems, the key could be all about finding a way to enjoy a good night’s sleep every night.
Tags: Good Mattress For Overall Health, Importance Of A Good Mattress