Did you know that one in three Americans is sleep-deprived? Sleep deprivation can have a huge impact on your mental and physical health, but most people do not know the importance of sleep.
Learn more about how it can affect your life and what getting too little of it can mean for your health.
Impact of Sleep on Mental and Physical Health
Sleep can affect your moods, cardiovascular health, and more.
Getting enough sleep, especially REM sleep makes it easier for your brain to process emotional information. It can also help with cognitive skills, focus, memory, and more.
When you don’t get enough sleep, even for one night, you can face issues with your cognitive skills, including:
- Slowed reaction time
- Memory and attention problems
- Decreased focus and concentration
- Symptoms of depression and anxiety
Brain fog can make it impossible to go about your daily tasks correctly and can put you and others in physical harm. Lack of sleep can also lead to impulsivity and risk-taking behavior.
For people who already face mental health conditions like depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and others, lack of sleep can aggravate the symptoms.
Sleep affects all of the body’s tissues, including stress and growth hormones, the immune system, breathing, and cardiovascular health.
The increase in stress hormones that you get after not sleeping enough can put a strain on your heart, raising your resting heart rate and causing blood pressure to rise.
An adequate amount of sleep helps with brain processing, allowing you to lock memories and regulate emotions. When you are sleep-deprived, you can feel moody and irritable because of this decrease in mood regulation.
Sleep can also help with tissue repair. As you rest, your body releases hormones and proteins that can help restore muscles and other damaged tissues.
The right amount of sleep can also help strengthen your immune system. It boosts your ability to fight off infections because your body produces cytokines while you sleep. These are proteins that direct immune cells to battle any inflammation in the body.
When you don’t sleep enough, your body produces more white blood cells, which creates an imbalance in your immune system.
How Much Sleep Should You Get?
To function at your best, there are some guidelines about how much sleep you should get. An adult between 18 and 60 years should get at least seven hours of sleep every night.
The amount of sleep you get is important, but the quality of sleep is also crucial. Some of the common signs of poor sleep are repeatedly waking during the night; not feeling rested even if you slept a sufficient number of hours, or snoring.
Better Sleep for a Better You
With the impact that sleep can have on your mental and physical health, you want to consider whether you are actually getting enough of it. At Gardendale Primary Care, we can help you with all of the health concerns you may have so that you can lead a healthier and more productive life.