03 Sep
2018

Is a Lack of Sleep Wreaking Havoc on Your Health?


sleep

That old saying about sleep being medicine? It’s true…

Getting an adequate amount of good quality slumber is beneficial to all your body’s organs and systems – from your brain to your heart.

Unfortunately, not all of us get as much as we need. And, worse yet, we don’t consider it to be that big of a deal. But it is. Not getting enough sleep can have a terrible knock-on effect on your health. If you’re struggling to sleep, it’s important that you take it seriously. It’s best to avoid long-term consequences that are far more severe than simply feeling tired.

Here are just a few very good reasons as to why top-quality pillow time is vital to your health.

Sleep ‘cleans’ your brain

Your lymphatic system and the cerebrospinal fluid are your brain’s ‘clean-up crew’. When you’re asleep, they sweep out its metabolic waste as well as the things that form the brain tissue ‘plaque’ that leads to Alzheimer’s.

It helps you lose weight

Two hormones that have an effect on your weight are leptin which tells you when you’re full and ghrelin which tells you that you’re hungry. Studies have shown that, if you’re sleep deprived, your leptin levels decrease while your ghrelin levels increase, putting you in a prime position to overeat.

You’ll have a healthier heart

Consistently not getting enough sleep will increase your insulin resistance along with your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. A lack of shut-eye also increases your C-reactive protein levels. This is yet another thing that puts you at risk for cardiovascular and heart disease.

It bolsters your immune system

Sleeping well improves your body’s immune system and allows it to repair itself. This is why, when you’re sick, all you want to do is sleep. A lack of sleep, however, lowers your immunity, leaving you open to the development of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, while increasing the inflammation that leads to premature ageing.

Sleep balances your hormones

A lack of sleep causes your testosterone levels drop, and, in women, it increases their estradiol if they’re of reproductive age and decreases it if they’re perimenopausal. Unbalanced hormones can cause a myriad of unwanted symptoms like fatigue, decreased libido and acne while leading to conditions like polycystic ovarian disease and endometriosis.

It improves your gut health

Getting enough sleep is a big contributing factor to a happy gut. This is the backbone of the rest of your body’s health. A lack of sleep, however, is associated with gastric conditions like stomach ulcers, IBS, chronic constipation and illnesses like Crohn’s disease.

The bottom line

We all know about the importance of eating a balanced diet and regular exercise. Don’t underestimate the importance of good quality sleep. It’s integral to our health and the effects of not getting enough of it can be extremely hazardous.

If you’ve started to struggle in the sleep department and don’t know why or have an existing sleep disorder that’s not being adequately managed then make an appointment to see a doctor at Sleep Renewal. The clinic uses cutting edge technology to help improve the quality of your sleep as well as successfully treat sleep disorders. This way, the path to wellness can be yours for the taking.

 

Business Essentials is Africa’s premium networking and business directory.

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