With many people becoming busier and busier every day, we find ourselves having to sacrifice certain parts of our day to fulfil our commitments. And what is the number one thing most people skimp on? Sleep. Yet, science shows that getting a good amount of high-quality sleep is essential to both physical and mental health. Read on to find out why getting good quality sleep is one of the most important things you can do to mend your health, and the easy steps you can take to improve your quality of life.
It Can Affect Your Weight
Bad sleep highly correlates with increased, unhealthy weight gain. This is primarily due to the fact that irregular or disrupted sleep disrupts hormones involved in regulating appetite, making it harder to control your eating habits. Good sleepers eat fewer calories, which over time allows them to function at an overall higher energy level and be more active. Not only does this have obvious benefits in terms of physical health – exercise and movement is good for everyone – but it can lead to high success in the workplace and at school.
Excessive weight can lead to a myriad of serious health issues, such as impeded circulation, strokes, heart attacks, and diabetes. Moreover, the effects of excessive weight gain on mental health are apparent – people who are overweight are more likely to suffer from low self-esteem, stress, depression, and anxiety.
It Can Damage Your Body’s Muscles, Joints, and Bones
Poor quality sleep can also have more obvious effects, such as joint, muscle, and bone pain – like the infamous crick in your neck from sleeping the wrong way. Bad sleep leaves your body less equipped to heal damage – it has to work overtime – and you’ll have less energy to repair and strengthen cells around your body. This can lead to you becoming more susceptible to muscle injuries such as tears or pulls, or even long-term disorders such as arthritis – a particular danger for older individuals.
Getting a better mattress can prove to be a fool-proof and quick fix to this problem, and you can instantly feel the difference and allow your body to heal and feel fresh and rested in the morning. Before you make a purchase, you can check resources like The Mattress Guide, who have listed the Top 10 Mattresses in the UK, including the best mattress 2020. There’s plenty of information there, from size, to fabric and materials, to all the pros and cons and the price. This means that you can easily find out which mattresses are the best for your comfort and health needs, allowing you to buy the best mattress for you.
It Can Affect Your Mental Health
We mentioned before that excess weight can lead to depression and stress, but bad sleep in and of itself can also affect your mental wellbeing. Sleep is vital to keeping our brain functioning properly, and serves as a regenerative period for the brain. Too little sleep, and we begin to see drops in concentration, performance, memory, and productivity – on par with someone who is drunk, as studies have shown. This means that we end up struggling with the day and come out feeling exhausted, even if the day itself was like any other. Excess exhaustion can then lead to negative thoughts – 90% of depressed individuals suffer with sleep issues.
It’s therefore essential that you try and regulate your sleep to stop it from impacting your functioning in day to day life. Setting a routine, and sticking to it – including avoiding those pesky mid-day naps – will help greatly with this. Also of note is, of course, going to bed at a fairly early time, avoiding phones before bed, and eating well before you plan on going to bed – all of these things will help you to fall asleep faster and find yourself waking up rejuvenated and ready to tackle the day ahead.
It Can Affect Your Immune System
Getting a sub-optimal amount of sleep – even a relatively small loss of sleep – can impair immune functioning. In fact, sleeping less than eight hours a night can increase your risk of developing diseases (such as the cold or flu) by three times compared to a person that sleeps eight hours or more per night. Conversely, however, too much sleep can also impair immune functioning and deregulate your metabolism, leading to an upset of your body’s general homeostasis. It’s therefore essential that you try and keep a good balance between too much and too little sleep.
Overall, getting a good amount of sleep is one of the pillars of health, and without it, you cannot be fully healthy. Poor sleep can negatively impact on your weight, leading to a host of other health risks. It can also damage your body’s physical support structures, as well as drastically impacting on your mental health and immune systems. Good sleep is the often-overlooked key to good health!