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The Importance of Sleep

By August 26, 2019 No Comments

Sleep is Important to Maintaining Your Overall Health

The Importance of Sleep - Lifeworks Counseling CenterWhen it comes to sleep, most people believe this is a time when our mind and body shuts down. However, this couldn’t be further from the case. Our brain and body are both very active during periods of rest. Your mind is processing and storing information while your body is restoring and strengthening itself. Sleep is incredibly important to protect your mental and physical well-being.

Getting a good night’s rest is as vital to your health as exercising and a healthy diet.

Poor Sleep Leads to Obesity

Not getting the right amount of sleep has been strongly linked to weight gain. Studies have shown that individuals with short sleep duration are more likely to see their weight increase significantly as opposed to those who get the right amount of sleep.

Those deprived of it tend to have bigger appetites and consume more calories than they should. The production of hormones that control appetite is disrupted by the lack of sleep. Studies have shown that levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates appetite, were higher, and the levels of leptin, the hormone that subdues appetite, were lower in those without proper sleep.

If you receive the adequate duration of rest, your appetite will not be as strong, leading you to consume fewer calories.

Poor Sleep is Linked to Mental Health Issues

When you are sleeping, your brain is constantly processing your emotions. Your mind takes this time to interpret how to react to certain stimuli you may interact with. When you disrupt this time, you are more likely to react emotionally negative to these situations.

Depression and anxiety are often present in those who have poor sleep quality. Furthermore, about 90% of individuals with depression report issues with their sleep quality.

Sleep is crucial to your mental health. A lack of it has been linked to increased levels of depression, anxiety, suicide, and risk-taking behavior.

Adequate Sleep Leads to a Sharper Brain

How your brain functions daily is heavily impacted by the quality of sleep you get. Your cognitive abilities, concentration, productivity, and performance all benefit from quality rest.

A study conducted on a group of medical interns showed this. Interns who worked on a regular schedule that included extended work hours made 36% more serious medical errors than interns with a schedule that allowed more rest. Sleep deprivation even leads to symptoms that are similar to alcohol intoxication, though not as severe.

Lack of Sleep Leads to Greater Health Risks 

When you are asleep, your blood pressure goes down, which allows your heart and blood vessels a chance to relax. Not getting the right amount of rest forces your blood pressure to remain higher during the whole day. When your blood pressure is high, you are at a greater risk of heart disease, including stroke.

Also, the level of glucose in your blood drops when you are in the slow-wave part of your sleep cycle. When you restrict the time spent in this stage, you don’t give your body the break it needs. The level of glucose remains high. When you restrict your hours of sleep, it results in symptoms of prediabetes. Make sure that you all yourself to reach a deep slumber, which will decrease your chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

Sleep is one of the most important functions of your body. Not only does it lead to improve physical health, but it also improves your overall mental health and performance. Adequate rest allows your body and mind to refresh and heal. If you are struggling to rest or have a sleep disorder, contact Lifeworks Counseling Center to allow us to help.

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