Your body and your children’s bodies require a number of things to function correctly. For instance, as human beings, we all need plenty of water, great food, and exercise to keep everything ticking along smoothly. However, there’s another crucial ingredient to good health that’s often overlooked in today’s chaotic world – and that’s sleep.
When you’re trying to balance life, work, and other challenges at the same time, it can be difficult to get a decent amount of sleep each night. However, the truth is that failing to give enough attention to your sleeping patterns could cause a series of chronic and acute health issues. Here are just five problems that may arise from a lack of sleep.
A lack of sleep is stressful. The less you sleep, the more overwhelmed you feel each day. You might even find that it’s harder to do the things you usually do in your daily routine like complete your work or look after the kids. Studies have even begun to show that people who suffer from sleep disorders like insomnia are also more likely to have issues with depression.
One study in 2007 found that people with insomnia were five times more likely to develop depression than people without sleeping conditions. Additionally, it is said that insomnia is one of the most common physical symptoms of depression.
2. Weight Gain
Your sleeping patterns have a significant impact on your metabolic function. Lack of sleep is constantly linked to an increase in appetite and hunger. Thus, it may increase your chances of developing obesity. According to one study, those who sleep for fewer than six hours a day may be up to 30% more likely to become obese than people who sleep for between 7 and 9 hours.
Research into the connection between sleep and weight indicates that Ghrelin, the substance that stimulates hunger, might be more prominent in people with insomnia. Lack of sleep also seems to increase the risk that you’ll crave high-fat foods when you’re hungry. You are also less likely to exercise if you are suffering from sleep deprivation, as your motivation levels can be lower.
3. Digestive System Issues
Along with failing to exercise and overeating, sleep deprivation is a common risk factor associated with obesity. As mentioned above, sleep affects the levels of crucial hormones in your body like Ghrelin and Leptin which control your feelings of hunger and satisfaction. Lack of sleep can make it difficult for your body to digest and respond to food properly.
According to some studies, sleep deprivation may even prompt your body to release higher amounts of insulin after you’ve had a meal. Since insulin controls your blood sugar level, this can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes and promote fat storage. There are some natural remedies that may settle your stomach before sleeping.
4. Poor Immune System Functioning
Your immune system is one of the most critical factors in managing your health. While you sleep, it produces substances called cytokines that combat invaders like viruses and bacteria. When you’re feeling under the weather, a dose of cytokines while you sleep gives your body more of the power it needs to fight infection and defend against illness.
Unfortunately, sleep deprivation stops your immune system from strengthening itself. If you don’t get the right amount of sleep, your body might be unable to fend off invaders and it may take longer for you to recover from illnesses. Long-term sleep deprivation can even increase your chances of having chronic conditions like diabetes.
5. Heart Problems
Finally, sleep affects the processes responsible for keeping your blood vessels working well and keeping your heart healthy. It affects your blood pressure, blood sugar and your internal levels of inflammation. Sleep also plays a critical role in the ability of your body to repair and heal the heart and blood vessels.
People who don’t sleep enough are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease. One analysis found that insomnia is linked to an increased risk of stroke and heart attack. The less you sleep, the greater your risk becomes.
Are You Getting Enough Sleep?
The truth is that the only way to regain your quality of life and improve your health when you’re struggling with sleep deprivation is to get more rest. Remember, behind the scenes, lack of sleep doesn’t just make you grouchy; it could be causing serious damage to your health too.
For more great tips to help the family, check out the other blogs on Cyber Parent.