You know that experts recommend seven to eight hours of sleep each night, and you also know that you don’t get it. You get close…enough. It’s no big deal, right? Wrong! In fact, in 2015, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society published a joint statement, based on comprehensive research, saying “sleeping less than seven hours per night on a regular basis” is associated with such adverse health outcomes as weight gain and obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke, depression, impaired immune function, increased pain, a greater likelihood of accidents and even an increased risk of death. That’s extremely serious!
It isn’t just scientists and researchers telling us this. Adults who sleep less than the recommended seven to eight hours each night are much more likely to report they have had a variety of health problems, including asthma and depression. Let’s look further at just a few of the issues a lack of sleep can cause you:
#1 You will experience weight gain. When you don't get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down. This makes you feel hungrier than when you're well-rested. If we are sleep deprived, we make poor food choices and will most likely opt for a heavy meal instead of a lighter and healthier option. And just the same, a meal that is extra fatty or carb-filled will make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. You’ll wake up tomorrow and start the tired, unhealthy food cycle all over again! Remember that being overweight isn’t just about looks. Those with excess weight, especially around their midsection, are at a significantly higher probability to suffer from high blood pressure, hypertension, and other serious health issues.
#2 You’ll have a hard time concentrating and functioning. Your central nervous system is the information highway of your body. Sleep is necessary to keep it functioning properly, but chronically not getting enough sleep messes this all up. Pathways form between nerve cells in your brain, called neurons, during sleep. Sleep deprivation means it can’t perform its duties as well and you may also find it more difficult to concentrate or learn new things. The signals your body sends to extremities, your arms and legs, may also be delayed, decreasing your coordination and increasing your risk for falling and car accidents.
#3 You will experience depression and mood changes. It isn’t just your physical health that takes a dive when you’re not getting enough sleep. Evidence suggests that people who regularly do not get enough sleep, either by their choice or not, have a ten-fold risk of developing depression compared with those who regularly sleep well. Sleep deprivation also negatively affects your mental abilities and emotional state. You may feel more impatient or prone to mood swings. In fact, you probably don’t need a medical expert to tell you that- you’ve experienced it for yourself!
#4 You will suffer from impaired immune function. Have you ever gone to sleep with the feeling of a sore throat coming on, but by morning you forgot all about it? When you are asleep, your body is hard at work. One thing your body is doing is fighting off getting sick. Your immune system produces protective, infection-fighting substances called cytokines as you snooze. It uses these substances to combat foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. Sleep deprivation prevents your immune system from building up these needed cytokines. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body may not be able to fend off invaders, and you’ll find yourself more sick, more often.
Sleep is not a luxury to go without in order to fit in one more episode of your favorite show or answer a few more emails! On the contrary, sleep is absolutely vital to good health. Getting enough good quality sleep is important if you want to lower your risk of the conditions mentioned above, and others. If you are not getting the sleep your body needs to stay happy and healthy because of a poor mattress, flat pillows, or constant tossing and turning, It’s time to say “enough!” Make tonight the last night you miss out on your necessary eight hours of sleep. City Mattress has sleep-trained experts who can discuss what issues are keeping you up at night or causing you to wake frequently. It is very possible that a high-quality mattress, adjustable bed base, or new sleep system altogether is the answer you are looking for to settle in for the night and awake refreshed and healthy eight hours later!