Are you getting enough sleep each night? Because everybody has their own needs when it comes to sleep, this can be a difficult question to answer. Some people can get by on six hours per night, while others feel the impact if they don’t get nine hours. You will know if you aren’t getting enough sleep because you will feel drowsy, irritable, moody and disinhibited. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, then you are just one of millions of people faced with the same predicament. Sleep deprivation is a widespread problem in the United States. If you suffer from sleeplessness, you should consider changing your lifestyle, trying temporary medication or undergoing a course of cognitive behavioral therapy. Sleep is essential to an individual’s health and general wellbeing. In fact several health benefits are associated with getting sufficient sleep.
A Healthy Cardiovascular System
Getting enough sleep at night improves the health of your heart and cardiovascular system. Sleeplessness causes an elevation in stress hormones. These stress hormones can lead to high blood pressure or hypertension. Hypertension can cause a heart attack or stroke. Statistics show that strokes and heart attacks are more likely to occur in the morning, and this is no coincidence. People who get enough sleep at night are less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke.
Lack of sleep causes the body to release more of the stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine. The body releases these extra stress hormones to prepare for the difficult day ahead. These stress hormones can lead to hypertension. They have also been associated with other health conditions including obesity, depression, asthma, headaches, cancer, digestive issues and rheumatoid arthritis. Unfortunately releasing extra stress hormones to cope with sleeplessness also makes it even harder to sleep the next night.
Increased Alertness and Memory Function
It is much easier to stay alert and focused if you have had sufficient sleep. Sleeplessness leads to impaired memory function and poor decision making. If you get enough rest, you will have an active and involved day in which you get lots done and manage to stay on top of things. You will also have a better memory. That’s because when you sleep your brain processes the thoughts and events of the previous day. It forms the neurological links which make memories. Not getting enough sleep makes you less likely to remember the events of the preceding day. It also increases the probability of having an auto accident while driving your car.
Getting sufficient sleep regulates the production of the hormones ghrelin and leptin. These hormones control the appetite. If you do not get enough sleep, your body will not produce as much of these hormones. This will make it more difficult for your body to recognize when your stomach is full. Lack of sleep will also make you feel hungrier than usual because your body attempts to compensate for the lack of energy that sleeplessness causes. Hence getting enough sleep at night could lead to significant weight loss.
Longevity and Youthfulness
When you sleep your body synthesizes human growth hormone. Human growth hormone has been associated with an increase in lean muscle mass, longevity and a youthful appearance. Levels of HGH taper off as you age. Getting enough sleep is one of the things that help the body to generate more human growth hormone. This increases your probability of living longer and looking younger. Not getting enough sleep makes you more likely to age prematurely and die young.
The cells of your body are repaired and replenished as you sleep. This helps to neutralize the damage done by free radicals and other pollutants that your body is exposed to. If you do not get enough sleep, this cell damage can accumulate and lead to various diseases and health complaints. The more sleep you get, the stronger and healthier your body will be.