Doctors, therapists, and clinical psychologists are fast becoming aware of the role that sleep plays in our lives. In the past, medical professionals failed the recognize the critical nature of sleeping and how it influences or physiological and psychological state.
Individuals that receive less than 8-hours of quality sleep every night expose their health to a variety of diseases and disorders. A lack of sufficient sleep on a regular basis leads to the onset of anxiety disorder, depression, and even heart attack.
Are you getting enough sleep? Here are a few health benefits of sleep. After you're done reading through them, you might want to go to bed early this evening.
When we don't get enough sleep, the body releases the stress hormone cortisol. The adrenal glands are two bean-shaped glands on top of the kidneys. They control the production of adrenaline like hormones and cortisol. When we're feeling stressed, they produce an excess of cortisol.
If left untreated, excess cortisol in the blood leads to the development of an auto-immune disease known as adrenal fatigue. In this state, we feel exhausted, but our body can't fall asleep no matter how hard we try.
Sleeping for the recommended 8-hours a night keeps cortisol at bay and reduces the amount of inflammation in our body. Systemic inflammation is responsible for every disease and disorder that the body experiences. If we can keep inflammation under control, we experience better physical and mental health.
When we sleep, the brain clear toxins and stressors from neural pathways. This process allows us to remain stress-free and happy. If we don't get enough sleep, our brain builds up these environmental toxins, resulting in feelings of fatigue that leave us feeling exhausted all day long.
If we continue to experience sleep deprivation, we will eventually slip into a state of poor mental health. Depression, anxiety, and feelings of malaise overcome our consciousness. When we return to a sustainable sleeping schedule, these symptoms of ill-mental health will dissipate, and we'll return to a healthy state of mind.
Keep Your Heart Healthy
Maintaining a sufficient sleep schedule is essential for optimal cardiovascular health. Sleeping relaxes blood vessels and reduces blood pressure. Overnight our readings for blood glucose and blood pressure return to baseline levels as our bodies unwind from the stress of the day.
People that don't receive enough sleep are more likely to develop the symptoms of cardiovascular issues, such as coronary arterial disease. If sleep deprivation persists, they're likely to eventually experience a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack.
Maintain Healthy Bodyweight
A lack of sleep can lead to a hormonal imbalance. Not only does this occur in the adrenal glands, but it can also affect the hunger hormones as well. Leptin and ghrelin are hormones responsible for regulating our need to eat.
People that consistently receive insufficient sleep may experience a hormonal imbalance. Ghrelin overcomes leptin production, encouraging the need to binge eat.
Wrapping Up Adjust Your Sleep Hygiene
If you experience poor sleep, it may be time to adjust your sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene refers to the habits we have concerning our sleep cycle. It's important to avoid stimulants like coffee and energy drinks after midday as they may keep you awake at night. Eat early. Consuming a heavy meal before you go to bed will draw blood to your stomach to aid in digestion. This situation makes it hard for your brain to receive the blood flow it needs to fall asleep.
Assess your sleep environment and ensure you're blocking out all light sources from entering your bedroom. Try techniques like using a sleep mask to ensure your brain isn't disturbed by artificial light sources that disturb your sleep. Give a few of these strategies a try and note the differences they make in your sleep.