Remember when you were a kid and you didn’t want to go bed? As an adult, you most likely want to go to bed but probably have other commitments that make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Sleep is a fundamental need of the human body and getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for optimal functionality and quality of life. The quality and amount of sleep you get effects virtually every aspect of your life – from your social engagements to your work performance.
Getting a good night’s sleep can be beneficial in many ways. Some examples include:
- Less Accidents – You are less likely to be careless or get into an accident if you pay attention and are fully awake while driving or operating machinery. In fact, certain professions, like railroad operator or airline pilots – mandate a minimum amount to be permitted to do their jobs.
- Better Immune System Health – Getting a good night’s sleep helps boost your immune system which helps you stay healthy.
- Happier Mood – A lack of sleep can make you irritable, anxious, and less socialable. Individuals who get enough sleep are more likely to be happier, calm and pleasant than individuals who get insufficient sleep.
- Repair Time – Those of us who engage in strenuous activities such as athletics, construction work or, yes, even a day glued to the computer screen, need our rest. Sleep helps our body repair and regroup to be functional the next day.
Individuals who do not get a good night’s sleep can face a variety of health issues that can have negative effects on their quality of life, and are even at a higher of developing serious health conditions. Here are some examples.
Obesity – Studies show a connection between insufficient sleep and weight gain. Individuals who regularly sleep less than the recommended number of hours are more likely to have a higher body mass index. Believe it or not, while we sleep our bodies burn calories. Plus, those who get a full night’s rest are less likely to succumb to cravings and are generally happier during the day. You are far less likely to crave a Starbucks Frappuccino if you are well rested!
Diabetes – A lack of adequate sleep affects the way the body processes glucose and the less sleep you get, the more slowly your body processes glucose. Several studies have shown a connection between insufficient sleep and Type 2 diabetes. This makes diabetes a high risk for individuals who get insufficient sleep.
Heart Disease – There is a connection between heart conditions and sleep. The less sleep you get, the harder your heart has to work the following day. Individuals with existing hypertension have shown higher blood pressure after getting inadequate sleep. Consequentially, the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke increases for individuals who get inadequate sleep.
Mood Disorders – It’s normal to feel a bit cranky once in a while when you feel tired, but consistently getting insufficient sleep can have adverse effects on your mood that can eventually develop into a disorder. Individuals with sleep issues are more likely to also have depression, anxiety, and mental distress. While the correlation between sleep and issues such as depression and anxiety go both ways but consistently getting insufficient sleep can make these issues worse.
Quality of Life – Along with increasing our risks to the health conditions mentioned above, insufficient sleep takes a toll on the immune system. This makes you more likely to get a cold or the flu or have aches and pains. Additionally, it can cause concentration issues that may affect your performance at work or school. Finally, because a lack of sleep makes it difficult to stay focused and give full attention to others, it could have an adverse effect on your relationships.
If you aren’t getting enough sleep, it’s important to figure out what is causing it. The experts at SC Internal Medicine Associates and Rehabilitation offer a variety of health services and resources to help determine what is causing your sleep issue including weight loss support, sleep labs, neurology services, wellness services, and internal medicine. To make an appointment with one of their reputable and experienced physicians, call 803-749-1111 today.