Sleep is one of the most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle, yet many people overlook its importance. Without adequate sleep, our bodies are unable to function at their best and can suffer from serious health problems. A lack of sleep has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, weakened immune system, and depression. In this article we will explore how not getting enough sleep can lead to these issues and just how serious they can be if left untreated.
Your Risk of Heart Disease Increase
The lack of sleep can have a severe impact on your heart health, both directly and indirectly. Studies have shown that individuals who get less than seven hours of sleep per night are at a higher risk for developing coronary artery disease. This can be due to an increased level of stress hormones released during periods of sleep deprivation, which can raise blood pressure and increase risk of a heart attack or stroke. Additionally, lack of sleep has been associated with increased levels of inflammation in the body and an overall decrease in cardiovascular health.
Your Immune System Weakens
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body is unable to properly replenish its immune system. Not getting an adequate amount of rest can decrease the number of infection-fighting leukocytes, leaving you more susceptible to colds and other illnesses. Additionally, research has shown that a lack of sleep can lead to a decrease in antibody production, which further weakens your immunity. You can fight this by making sure you are getting to sleep at a reasonable time. Research suggests that adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
You Can Feel Depressed
Studies have shown that lack of sleep can lead to feelings of depression, due to the body’s inability to properly regulate its hormones and neurotransmitters. Not getting enough sleep can increase levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can make us more prone to feeling anxious and depressed. Additionally, a lack of sleep can cause the hippocampus to shrink, which is the part of the brain responsible for regulating emotion. If you are someone who struggles with depression, making sure that you get enough sleep can be an important part of managing your mental health.
Getting enough sleep is essential to maintain your health and well-being. A regular sleep schedule will help you feel rested and refreshed, improve your mood, and boost your immune system. If you’re struggling to get enough sleep, talk to your doctor about ways to improve your sleep habits.
Check out this article on when to consult your doctor about exercise!