Sleep is something that a lot of us tend to put on the back burner in the modern world where work hours exceed the normal 40 hours a week in order to make ends meet. A lot of us notice that we are tired at work but what we don’t realize is the negative impact a lack of sleep has on our bodies and minds. A proper night’s sleep is required for us to be completely healthy.
It is amazing how much difference proper sleep makes. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that proper sleep changes your health.
Sleep Deprivation and Your Brain’s Reaction
While you are awake the brain builds up a bunch of chemical clutter such as the proteins that build up between cells. If you don’t get the proper amount of sleep your body doesn’t have enough time to break down this buildup. Your brain will try to keep up while it is awake but it lacks the ability to do so.
Studies from a number of scientific sources show that brain cells are less active during sleep deprivation. There is a reason that it is considered torture by many governments.
Also, during the recharge of your brain, it has a chance to balance out neurotransmitters and other chemicals in the brain. Without proper sleep your brain will be less able to handle mental health conditions. Mental health disorders such as schizophrenia can get far more severe when combined with sleep deprivation.
Certain mental health conditions may be more prone to the impact caused by lack of sleep. Here are some of those conditions:
- Anxiety Disorders
- Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder
- Bi-polar Disorders
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Your Appetite Changes When You Are Tired
One of the many things that changes when you are tired is your appetite. Your mind sends out more hunger hormones when it is deprived of sleep. Those hormones make you want to eat more. Your body will want you to eat more unhealthy foods when these hormones are produced in irregular amounts.
When you eat these unhealthy foods in large amounts they trigger the rewards center in your mind. This can lead to unhealthy levels of eating that can eventually cause obesity and diabetes.
Don’t Forget About Your Immune System
Sleep acts as a way for your body to shut down and rejuvenate itself as we have already seen with your brain’s reaction to sleep deprivation. Another thing that doesn’t get the proper amount of recharge is your immune system. During sleep your antibodies get a chance to build up back to the levels required to fight off sickness.
Those who get less than seven hours of sleep are almost three times as likely to get sick. Once you get sick, if sleep deprivation continues you will take far longer to recover.
Getting the Proper Amount of Sleep
Arranging to get the proper amount of sleep is a big part in living a healthy life. As is maintaining a regular sleep schedule. Medical professionals recommend that you plan to sleep 8 hours a night with a minimum of 7 hours. You also want to ensure that you get good sleep. To do this ensure that you have a proper sleeping environment.
A proper sleep environment is a dark area set to a comfortable temperature. You also want to remove as much disturbing noise as possible. Some people might find it helpful to have a white noise generator.
Insomnia and Sleep Deprivation
Those who have insomnia are more at risk for developing mental health disorders, especially anxiety disorders. Anyone suffering from insomnia should work to find a treatment that allows them to sleep. Whether it is a holistic treatment or medication or therapy, the sleep that is received once treatment starts can have a major impact on your health.
Sleep is essential to your whole health. That includes being essential to your mental and physical health. It is even more important for people who are diagnosed with mental health disorders. If you find that you are having trouble getting the proper amount of sleep you should seek help from your doctor and other professionals.