Sleep is important. Period. However, we often abuse our sleeping pattern without realizing its effects. Everyone has faced trouble falling asleep at one point or another. To get a better idea, let’s look at some numbers:
22% of people sleep poorly most nights. 47% of people say stress or worry keeps them awake at night. 49% of people have never taken steps to help them sleep.
Poor sleep can cost you much more than you think. It may have long-term consequences on your health and mental well-being. Read on to know how poor sleep affects your health;
1. Obesity- There are several studies that have linked insufficient sleep to obesity. According to these studies, sleeping for less than five hours or more than nine hours every night can result in weight gain. The reason behind is believed to be the imbalance in hormones. Moreover, lack of sleep leads to fatigue and results in less physical activity.
2. Diabetes – Researchers have found that sleep deprivation may influence the way our body processes glucose, which could lead to type 2 Diabetes. It is believed that poor sleep can affect your blood sugar levels and vice-versa. If a person’s blood sugar levels are either too high or too low at night, he is more likely to feel tired the next day and prefer to eat unhealthy foods.
3. Heart Disease and Hypertension – Even a single night of insufficient sleep for people with hypertension can cause blood pressure to elevate. Not getting enough sleep puts you at greater risk for cardiovascular disease regardless of your age, weight, smoking and exercise habits.
4. Mood Disorders – Sleep and mood are very much related. Not only does poor sleep puts you in a bad mood, but mood can also affect your sleep. Long term sleep disorders have been linked to depression, anxiety and mental stress.
5. Immune Function – Although there is no direct connection, but a lack of sleep does affect your immune system. Studies tell us that people with insufficient sleep or irregular sleep pattern is more likely to fall sick after being exposed to a virus such as the common cold virus. It can also affect how fast your body will recover if you do get sick.
6. Alcohol – As many would say that alcohol puts one to a good night’s sleep, but overdoing it can affect the quality of your sleep. Since alcohol is diuretic, it encourages the body to lose extra fluids which can make you dehydrated. Moreover, drinking can make you snore more loudly.
7. Life Expectancy – Researchers say that sleep deprivation is linked to shorter life spans. According to a study, sleeping less than six hours a night makes you 12% more likely to die prematurely than someone who gets regular sleep. Getting enough sleep will improve your overall health and boost your longevity.