Getting enough sleep should be an important part of your overall health and wellness routine. Based on the National Sleep Foundation’s journal Sleep Health, young adults and adults between the ages of 18-64 years old should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep every day. And older adults aged 65+ should be getting 7-8 hours of sleep.
There’s good reason why everyone should be sleeping the right amount of hours every day for their age group. When they don’t, the negative impact on one’s health starts to show.
The quality of your sleep has been associated with everything from your mood to your weight, overall health, and well-being. Sleep helps heal damaged cells. It plays a crucial role in your metabolism, immune functions, learning ability, emotional and mental health.
Here’s what happens to your body when you deprive it of adequate sleep:
Sleep deprivation has been associated with the heightened risk of heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and stroke. Not getting enough sleep can lead to high blood pressure which causes the brain and body to lag.
The less sleep you get, your odds of developing coronary heart disease or having a stroke are increased considerably. Sleep deprivation affects your body’s normal physical functions; your vision gets blurry, your reactions have slowed down, and even your libido diminishes.
Not getting sufficient sleep can result in weight gain and obesity. Sleep supports our bodies to maintain a healthy balance of hormones that make you feel hungry or full. The hormone that makes you feel hunger is called ghrelin. When you lack sleep, your levels of ghrelin increase and you start to feel hungrier and crave. And because sleep deprivation also affects your ability to make good decisions, you give into these impulses to eat high-calorie foods.
During sleep is when your body regenerates. This explains why you wake up feeling renewed and refreshed. To stay healthy, our bodies rely on sleep. Without it, our immune systems weaken and become unable to defend us from foreign and harmful elements.
If you’ve been sick for awhile or have a cut that won’t heal, inadequate sleep may be the reason why you have difficulty fighting infections. In fact, studies have shown that you are 3 times more likely to get sick with a cold if you lack sleep compared to those who have had 8 or more hours of sleep.
Mental and Emotional State
Insufficient sleep leads to trouble controlling your emotions and behavior. Your problem-solving abilities are compromised. You’re accident prone. Simply put, you can’t think straight. All these factors lead to depression and risk-taking behavior.
Lack of sleep can significantly affect your quality of life. You find yourself less likely to participate in your normal activities. You’ll start to deviate from your usual routine like getting exercise or socializing with your friends.
Remember that getting enough sleep goes beyond your vanity. Indeed, it’s called “beauty rest” for a reason; people who get plenty of sleep have better skin, their eyes glow, and their happier disposition makes them look more attractive.
But more than that, getting enough sleep will improve the quality of your health and even prolong and save your life.