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Necessity of Good Sleep to Prevent Serious Diseases and Stay Healthy

30 Dec 2022 5 mins read

Having a good night’s sleep is essential for your physical and mental well-being. But poor sleep may increase the chances of various lifestyle ailments like diabetes, high pressure, heart disease and obesity to a great extent. These diseases can be the result of decreased expectancy of your life. Getting sufficient sleep can help to improve the function of your brain, maintain hormonal balance in your body, boost immune system to fight infections in a better way and help in the growth and development in kids.

Certain changes in lifestyle related to poor sleep

  1. Obesity – According to research, people who sleep for less than 6 hours have higher Body Mass Index (BMI) while the ones who sleep for 8 hours every night have lower BMI. People having BMI of 30 and above belong to the category of obese. Inadequate sleep can be the reason for obesity in adults as well as children. Besides, poor quality of sleep increases the chances of obesity by de-regulating the appetite causing higher consumption of calorie. When you sleep, your brain signals the body to secrete those hormones that help in regulating glucose processing, energy metabolism and controlling appetite.

Inadequate sleep creates an imbalance in the following hormones which are:

  • Increased production of cortisol or stress hormone
  • Increased secretion of insulin which can promote fat storage and regulate glucose metabolism
  • Lowered levels of another hormone called leptin helps to regulate energy balance by inhibiting hunger and lessening fat storage
  • Higher secretion of ghrelin which is a hunger-stimulating hormone increases food cravings.
  1. Heart diseases – As per studies, poor quality of sleep is related to various cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease, irregular heart disease and stroke. The factors which link lessened sleep to heart disease are:
  • Hypertension – High blood pressure is among the leading risk factors for heart problems and stroke. Though blood pressure lessens during your normal sleep, insufficient sleep keeps pressure high for a longer duration. But insufficient sleep makes your body lose its ability to regulate stress hormones which causes high blood pressure.
  • Higher levels of inflammation – Inflammation is a popular risk factor for stroke and heart disease. There is a protein known as C-reactive protein which is released during stress and inflammation will be raised in sleep-deprived individuals.
  • Having higher heart rate is usually found in sleep-deprived individuals that denote heightened stress that can affect your heart health.
  • People having sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea may wake up several times at night as it affect their ability to breathe properly while sleeping. It occurs due to an obstruction in the airways and affects the amount of oxygen circulated when you remain asleep. This is related to increased chances of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
  • Insomnia is a condition when the individuals find trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. This is associated with high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart diseases.
  • Having inadequate sleep in a single night for people with hypertension may increase their blood pressure throughout the following day. So, poor sleep is related to developing heart diseases.
  1. Diabetes – Studies report lack of sleep increases the insulin resistance, inability of the body to use insulin causing type 2 diabetes. Your sleep can influence glucose metabolism, process of sugar breakdown for use in the form of energy. People who sleep for 4 hours during the night have found to impair glucose metabolism than the ones who sleep for more hours. Some factors leading to type 2 diabetes and associated with lack of sleep include:
  • When a person has deep sleep, their nervous system activities go down and the brain requires less glucose. There is also an increase in the production of growth hormones and decrease in stress hormone. Inadequate sleep can help to impair glucose regulation in your body and increase stress hormone.
  • Inadequate sleep may increase your cravings for high-sugar and high-fat foods that cause diabetes over time.
  • Poor sleepers seem to consume more calories during the day. This may disrupt circadian rhythm, the internal process which helps in regulating sleep cycle, causing weight gain and impaired levels of blood glucose and insulin.
  • People who suffer from sleep apnea find lack of oxygen leads to stress which induces release of glucose into your bloodstream. Individuals can develop insulin resistance leading to type 2 diabetes in due course.

Great tips for your better sleep

Below are some tips on how to sleep better and keep lifestyle diseases at bay.

  • Try to sleep at the same time daily and follow the same routine during waking up. You should maintain this routine everyday including weekends.
  • Consume light meals than heavy ones before going to bed. Do not consume alcohol before you go to sleep.
  • Refrain from using electronic devices that have bright artificial light such as TVs, mobile phones and laptops before your bedtime.
  • Tea, coffee and nicotine found in cigarettes may interfere with your regular sleep. So, you should not take these substances before your sleep time.
  • Regular physical activity can help you to sleep better. But doing strenuous exercise should be avoided at least a few hours before going to bed.

Getting sufficient amount of sleep during the night should be your top priority for leading a healthier and productive life. Doctors suggest sleeping for at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night in case of adults and ensure optimal health. According to experts, when you sleep for more than 9 hours, this can do you more harm than good though sleep requirements differ from one person to the other throughout their life cycle. Consult with your doctor and know the hours of sleep your body needs to stay away from diseases.