The basic human need is to get enough sleep at night. Unfortunately, we often ignore this need because we want to squeeze more hours into our days. It happens very often as many people have busy working schedules and think that they don’t have enough time to rest properly.
If we want to remain healthy, we need to make sleep our top priority.
When we sleep only a few hours at night, we have troubles concentrating during the day, our productivity is impacted, and we feel tired. If we are deprived of rest for a prolonged period, it can have an adverse impact on our well-being and cause numerous health problems.
Some people think that they can get by with only a few hours of rest, as they can deal with deprivation better than others. However, it doesn’t mean that it won’t have a negative impact on their health. Instead of dealing with various health issues, we should do everything in our power to prevent them, and one of the best ways to do it is to get a recommended number of hours of sleep at night.
When they want to be healthy, many people focus on regular exercising and diet. We are all aware of the significant impact of physical activity on our well-being. Sleep has the same effect, but unfortunately, we often underestimate its positive influence on our health.
The Health Risks of Not Getting Enough Sleep
1. High Blood Pressure
The lack of sleep is linked to high blood pressure. The more shut-eye we get during the night, the lower the chances that we will develop this condition. The proper rest at night is especially relevant for people with existing hypertension.
When we sleep, our bodies regulate stress hormones. When we don’t rest properly, it will compromise their ability to do this. As a result, our blood pressure will rise as a consequence of sleep deprivation.
If we sleep less than 6 hours a day for a prolonged period, we are at risk of developing hypertension. It is the chronic elevation of blood pressure, and it increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. As you can see, the lack of rest can put enormous strain on our hearts.
Sleep deprivation causes the levels of a stress hormone called cortisol to rise. Something like this results in the feeling of frustration, and the appetite increase. When this happens, we are prone to overeating and indulging in fatty foods.
If this behavior becomes our habit, our metabolism will change, and we will gradually gain weight.
Sleep deprivation also affects the production of the hormone ghrelin, which is produced in the stomach. When our bodies create too much of this hormone, we feel hungry, which leads to eating even more and gaining even more weight.
The combination of eating more than we are supposed to and feeling tired makes us unwilling to exercise. As you can see, sleep deprivation is not good for you, and it can have a severe impact on your weight. People who are deprived of rest are, as a result, more likely to gain weight compared to those who get between 7 and 9 hours of rest at night.
If we don’t get enough good night’s sleep, it will reduce the ability of our bodies to process insulin. We need to have at least 7 hours of rest so that our metabolism can process glucose correctly.
Insufficient shut-eye on a regular basis can result in the development of high blood sugar levels, and eventually, type 2 diabetes.
4. Weakened Immune System
When people are sick, they go to bed to recover. Sleep helps us cope with various diseases, and it is crucial to the proper function of the immune system.
If we don’t get enough rest at night, we feel tired and weak, and unable to recover appropriately because our immune system can’t do the proper job.
Useful Tips for Getting Enough Sleep
As you can see, sleep deprivation can cause a variety of health conditions, and it is very bad for us. We need to focus on resting adequately at night, instead of assuming that we can get by with only a few hours of shut-eye. If we want to increase our chances of getting enough rest, we need to create an environment that stimulates sleep.
One of the most important things is to have a comfortable surface. Unfortunately, many people have troubles getting enough shut-eye because they rest on an uncomfortable mattress that is a decade old. If this is the case, you should consider buying a new one. Many models are available at affordable prices, and you can save even more money thanks to mattress coupons.
You should also cut down on screen time before going to bed. The light from phone, TV, and computer screens can interfere with the ability of our bodies to produce melatonin, thus making us stay awake longer and have troubles falling asleep. It would be the best idea to remove TV, computer, and other devices from your bedroom.
Finally, you should avoid heavy meals and caffeinated products before going to sleep. Don’t consume coffee and other caffeinated beverages at least 3 or 4 hours prior to going to bed. Also, don’t overstuff yourself with food; have a healthy and light snack instead.