The kind of sleep quality that you experience everyday can drastically affect your health and wellbeing. Although you can easily see the impact on your physical health, the toil that this puts on your mental health often goes unnoticed. What’s worse is that you might not even be aware that some of the physical and mental changes that your body is going through are caused by the kind of sleep you are getting. Therefore, to make things easier, we have come up with a handy list of some of the ways in which sleep impacts your health and wellbeing.
Different stages of sleep like REM-sleep and slow-wave sleep are all known to process memories in their own ways. Insufficient sleep in any of these stages can lead to forgetfulness and make it harder to learn new things, concentrate, recall memories, etc. This is exactly why a good night’s sleep is recommended on the night before you have an important activity to perform like a test or a game. Cortisol, a stress hormone secreted by the body’s adrenal glands for functions like regulation of metabolism and immune response can lead to a state of brain fog when released in high amount.
A good quality sleep helps maintain the proper regulation of glucose, hormones and other gastrointestinal functions in our body. A lack of proper sleep on the other hand can prove disastrous for your metabolism. Metabolic imbalance due to insufficient amount of sleep may lead to reduced energy and inability to process insulin. According to a past study, loss of sleep impacts the carbohydrate metabolism and endocrine function and is thus associated with the development of type 2 diabetes.
Stress and poor sleep quality are directly related and one can trigger the other leading to a cyclic process, which you don’t want to be a part of. The level of the stress hormone cortisol is reported to be increased when the body doesn’t get the amount of sleep it needs. According to a press release by the American Psychological Association, reports found alleviated stress levels among adults who received less than eight hours of sleep. Conversely, people with low stress levels were more likely to achieve increased quantity of sleep in the night than those with stress.
#04 Muscle Repair
We have often heard about the importance of exercise for a good night’s sleep but what is all this talk about sleep quality and ability to work-out? Well as it turns out, the body’s ability to work out efficiently or participate in other activities like running or playing, that need muscle and strength recovery, rely on our sleep quality. The proper functioning of protein synthesis and secretion of growth hormone are dependent on a good amount of sleep every night. The REM sleep stage is linked with healing body pain due to the relaxing of body muscles. Similarly, the non-REM sleep stage is particularly associated with the kind of restorative sleep that body needs for muscle repair.
#05 Immune System
If you have ever experienced a marked decrease in your body’s immune functions, your sleep quality might be the one to blame. When the body receives about 7 to 8 hours of sleep regularly, it produces ample amount of small secreted proteins called cytokines that are necessary for fighting off pathogens and virus infections. However, the body’s ability to combat sickness such as the flu or common cold take a beating when you aren’t receiving enough sleep in the night.
Sleep deprivation can lead to a feeling of being improperly rested throughout the day. People with poor sleep quality have been known to feel emotions like grogginess, lack of interest, irritation and angriness at times. Experts suggest that there is heightened amygdala activity arising from insufficient amount of sleep. The amygdala, also known as the emotional center, is a part of the brain associated with regulating emotions including rage and fear. In cases of prolonged lack of proper sleep, certain severe conditions like anxiety or depression can also be experienced.
#07 Cardiovascular Health
One of the most terrifying dangers of lack of sleep is the impact it causes on our cardiovascular health. A good night’s sleep is absolutely essential for your heart as it regulates the blood flow and heart rate. Apart from that, sleep is also crucial for the healing and repairing of heart and blood vessels. Risk of experiencing conditions like coronary artery calcification (CAC,) chest pain, asthma, stroke, heart attack, etc. are found to have been increased when people sleep less than seven hours a night.
The risk of growing obese has been observed among people who had trouble getting good sleep. Several studies have shown how people who were on diet were able to burn less fat when their sleep time was reduced and others who had insufficient sleep were more at heightened risk of growing obese. Lack of sleep can alleviate the level of ghrelin in the body, the hormone which makes us feel hungry and decrease that of leptin, the hormone that inhibits the feeling of hunger.
Anyone can restore their sleep quality by taking some easy steps like maintaining a diet, doing exercise or buying a new mattress. Check out this informative piece to know what is the best time to buy a mattress. Afterall, a good night’s sleep is not the business of just one day, it is something that the body requires on a daily basis.