In modern society, many things demand your time, from jobs, family, friends, and other errands. To incorporate everything on the schedule, many people sacrifice their sleep. However, sleep affects your physical and mental health, meaning it’s essential for your well-being. Generally, good quality sleep impacts almost all aspects of your body, starting from growth, the immune system, stress hormones, breathing, appetite, blood pressure, and heart health.
On the other hand, poor quality sleep is associated with obesity, cardiovascular disease, and other infections. To understand how sleep quality can affect your health, we’ll look at the benefits of good-quality sleep and the drawbacks of poor-quality sleep.
Health Benefits Of Good Quality Sleep
Good quality sleep means falling and staying asleep for 7 to 9 hours. However, many people find trouble sleeping, which is frustrating and detrimental to their health. If you want to improve your sleep, try out the following tips: going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, sleeping on comfortable beds such as electric adjustable beds, avoiding daytime naps, incorporating exercise into your routine, and practicing mindfulness and meditation.
So, is good quality sleep beneficial to your health? The answer is ‘yes’. Quality sleep is more than downtime to rest your body. It has many benefits as well, which include:
Boost Your Immune System
Getting enough sleep helps boost your immune system by improving your T cells. These immune cells protect your body against intracellular pathogens such as flu, HIV, and cancer. Additionally, stress hormones, adrenaline and noradrenaline, and prostaglandins interfere with the stickiness of integrins. This stickiness is essential as it allows T cells to get in contact with the infected cells so they can be destroyed. When you sleep, the levels of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and prostaglandins are low, meaning that the stickiness of integrins is high which is good for boosting your immune system.
Sleep and mood are closely connected, that’s why you may be short-tempered and stressed the following day after a sleepless night, but when you get enough sleep, your mood is elevated. This is because when you sleep, your brain recognizes and processes your mood correctly, so when this is cut short, you tend to have more negative emotions than positive ones. Furthermore, when you sleep, your energy levels are rejuvenated, meaning you’ll handle life’s little challenges, which makes you happy.
Growth and Development
For children and teenagers, good quality sleep helps trigger the production of growth hormones essential in promoting healthy growth, muscle increase, and cell and tissue repair. However, sleep-deprived kids may be weak, sad, and have trouble engaging with peers. For active adults, good quality sleep allows the body to recover, repair tissues, and build muscles worked during physical activity. In adults, the growth hormone released during sleep helps build lean and stronger muscles.
Consequences Of Poor-Quality Sleep
Lack of sleep is dangerous to your health; it deprives your ability to focus, reflex, and react. Sleep deprivation is compared to drinking excess alcohol. Also, it’s linked with many health conditions, which include:
Sleep deprivation is associated with excessive weight gain and higher body mass index. Lack of sleep leads to increased production of the hormone ghrelin (a hormone responsible for hunger) and reduced hormone leptin (that makes us feel full). Therefore, an increase in ghrelin makes you overeat, thus resulting in weight gain. Additionally, sleep deprivation makes you crave foods with high sugar and fat content to compensate for the lack of energy. High-calorie foods can make you gain unnecessary weight.
Heart problems are the leading cause of illness and death in the United States. The risk factors for heart problems are poor diet, lack of exercise, and smoking. However, sleep deprivation has also been shown to cause cardiovascular problems. Sleep deprivation causes cardiovascular issues such as high blood pressure and increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, and diabetes. However, during sleep, your blood pressure drops, your heart rate decreases, and your breathing stabilizes. This allows your heart to rest and recovers from the strain you experience during the day. If you don’t get enough sleep, your heart doesn’t relax and recover, thus putting it at risk of complications.
Sleep deprivation doesn’t necessarily cause depression, but it worsens the symptoms of depression. People with insomnia are said to be at a higher risk of depression than people who get enough sleep. The relationship between sleep deprivation and depression is bilateral, meaning poor sleeping patterns can cause depression, and depression can cause poor sleeping patterns.
Good quality sleep is essential for your well-being. However, poor quality sleep can be detrimental to your health. Therefore, learn to practice proper sleeping habits to improve your