Importance Of Sleeping For the Heart & Overall Health

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People who sleep well and for adequate time have good physical, mental and emotional well-being. Good quality sleep has a crucial role in ensuring that the person will be happy and healthy all throughout life.

Lack of sleep can lead to various kinds of problems in the mind and body of an individual. And if this continues for long, it might lead to truly severe and grave consequences.

People who suffer from sleep deprivation suffer from problems like lack of focus and concentration, constant sleepiness all throughout the day, irritability, acidity, depression and so on.

Among the more serious problems of sleeplessness are cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and so on. And these problems can become extremely difficult to handle without proper sleep.

Lack of sleep increases risks of diabetes, obesity and high BMI

Obesity and diabetes are directly related to heart and cardiovascular health. With obesity and diabetes under control, it is possible to keep heart disorders at bay. People who do not get adequate sleep obviously have low levels of energy and remain tired all throughout the day.

They don’t get the zeal in participating in any activity or events that require physical involvement. People who feel tired & weak obviously have the tendency of eating and drinking junk foods and aerated drinks respectively. These obviously lead to incessant weight gain.

Moreover, these people stay far away from working out & exercising and hence the calorie consumed does not get burnt as well. Weight gain can come hand in hand with diabetes and these combined together can take a toll on heart health significantly.

Sleep plays an important role in regulating the body’s reaction to insulin. Insulin is the main hormone that keeps blood sugar levels in the body under check and control. With lack of sleep, blood sugar levels tend to increase in the body. If this condition persists for a long time, it might lead to diabetes on the long run.

And with obesity and diabetes hand in hand, there are no chances of averting heart diseases.

Sleep deprivation leads to disturbed cholesterol levels in the body

Many people don’t know that there are two kinds of cholesterol in the human body – good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL).

When both the cholesterol levels are balanced in the body, the body remains fit and healthy. But when the LDL increases in the body, it leads to various kinds of problems for the heart and cardiovascular health. The lipid levels in the body are actually controlled by the amount of sleep that a person gets.

The interesting thing is that both lack of sleep and excess sleep have negative effects on the lipid levels in the human system. Along with HDL and LDL levels, levels of triglycerides are also hampered in the body with lack or excess of sleep.

Lack of sleep leads to modification of hormones like ghrelin and leptin which play pivotal roles in increasing appetite in people. This leads to more consumption of calories when it is not needed. Sleeplessness also increases cortisol leading to inflammation and swelling and makes way for heart ailments.

Chances of hypertension increase with lack of sleep

Hypertension is a major contributor of heart diseases in people. And this problem is now seen in people of almost all age groups. Even very young people are getting hypertension for the lifestyle that they lead & the work that they do and from various kinds of stresses that affect their lives.

Risks of hypertension aggravate manifold times when one does not get adequate sleep. The body takes more stress due to sleeplessness & the two main stress systems in the body – the sympathomedullary system and the HPA system are activated.

The body starts releasing more amounts of adrenalin and cortiols with activation of the stress systems. On the long run, these excess stressors lead to persistent hypertension. And hypertension on the long run leads to heart and cardiovascular problems for sure.

Emotional well being and healthy brain function attributed to adequate sleeping

Along with heart and cardiovascular issues, inadequate sleeping can also impact brain functionalities significantly. People who don’t get good & sound sleep at night often lack focus, concentration and attention as their brain is not able to function properly.

Sleeplessness also leads to learning problems along with memory and retention issues. People who sleep well are able to learn new things easily and retain them in memory for long. Cognitive abilities and creative skills get a boost with proper sleep.

Medical research reports have also proved that if a person does not get enough sleep, he will not be able to make the right kinds of decisions when needed and also lack problem solving abilities.

There might be emotional and behavioral changes in the individual. Links of sleeplessness have also been established with depression, risky behaviors and suicide attempts.

Problems of sleeplessness in adolescents and teenagers are very common and the symptoms are quite prominent as well. The first thing is that these children like to stay away from people and find it difficult to get along with other people.

They might have excessive mood swings, might feel very angry and impulsive, have bouts of sadness and depression etc. these children are highly stressed and lack motivation. They also have very short attention span leading to lower grades in class.

Tips on getting good sleep

Now that you understand that sleeplessness can cause so many problems, it is important to deal with the same effectively.

  • Eat a healthy diet. This is very important as the nutrients from the foods help in regulating the various hormones in the body and keeps one healthy.
  • Avoid caffeine, particularly before going to sleep. This hampers sleep extensively.
  • Get rid of stress in any way that seems suitable for you. Stress is a major hindrance in getting good quality sleep.
  • Avoid watching TV or using mobile phone or any screen before going to bed. The lights from these sources can affect sleep adversely.
  • Go to sleep at one particular time. There is a biological clock that the body follows.
  • Do not eat heavy before going to sleep.
  • Wear comfortable clothing while hitting the bed.

Try these and get good sleep for a healthy mind and a healthy body.

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