Our body goes through a lot of strain and stress throughout the day and needs to have some down time. Sleep is the most effective way for the body to rejuvenate itself and recover from the busyness of the day. We are expected to get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep daily. That is what’s required to recuperate physically and mentally.
Working long and hard to achieve success is a great ambition but it shouldn’t be achieved at the expense of health and wellbeing. Regularly not getting enough sleep can have grave consequences for the body and mind, and defeats the ultimate objective of the successful enjoyable life.
The “more important” things often stand between us and the healthy lifestyle. Having sufficient rest must be a priority, as consequences of the poor sleep quality can be extremely harmful.
Consequences Of Poor Sleep Quality
1. Increased Risk Of Heart Disease
We go through a tremendous amount of stress during the day, which consequently increases blood pressure. Getting good sleep relaxes the body and mind, which, in turn, stabilizes the blood pressure, and reduces the risk of hypertension, stroke, heart attack and heart failure.
2. Increased Risk Of Ulcerative
It has been proven that poor sleep quality, which includes both too little and too much sleep, can lead to the health condition, known as ulcerative colitis. It is the inflammation of the bowels, that causes painful ulcers to develop on the lining of the walls of the digestive tract. At night the body is digesting the food that was consumed the night before, and as a result, the acidity of the gut increases. With too much, for example, our body, which is used to waking up, defecating and eating at certain times, allows the acid to act on the stomach walls. Without fresh food in the stomach and with digested food accumulated in the colon, the risk of ulcers increases. Similarly, if we don’t get enough sleep, we are more likely to suffer from indigestion and constipation.
3. Increased Risk Of Obesity And Diabetes
This major problem of the today’s society can be linked to poor sleep quality. We increase the chances of suffering from indigestion and constipation when we deprive ourselves of sleep. This further increases the risk of obesity and diabetes, as the blood glucose level spikes to unnatural heights, and insulin production drops. Maintain The 8-hour sleep cycle needs to be maintained to properly digest food and prevent constipation problems, obesity and eventually diabetes.
4. Increased Risk Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Without enough sleep, the brain experiences an increase in the level of beta-amyloid, a compound, which is known to be the primary cause of degenerative mental health problems, like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Beta-amyloid is usually eliminated by the brain when we sleep, but without enough sleep, it will only accumulate and eventually lead to serious health issues.
5. Increased Risk Of Prostate Cancer
Researchers believe that the lack of sleep can increase the risk of prostate cancer. A study from 2013, which involved 2,400 participants, demonstrated that those men who consistently experienced poor sleep quality, had 60% higher chance of developing prostate cancer. Good sleep stimulates the release of melatonin, a hormone that helps fight tumors.
6. Increased Risk Of Committing Suicide
When we deprive ourselves of adequate sleep, we put a tremendous amount of stress on our brain, which may result in anxiety and depression. With long-lasting depression, increases the chance of committing suicide. A 2014 study from Stanford University confirmed the strong correlation between depression and the likelihood of suicide. Sleep is imperative for overcoming mental health issues. When we’re resting, our mind forgets about all the problems and struggles, and gets a chance to unwind.
Scientific evidence clearly indicates that poor sleep quality can have dangerous consequences for our health. Sleep is neither an afterthought, nor a waste of time. It is absolutely essential to our physical and mental wellbeing. Although working hard and realising ambitions is important, it must not become a barrier to a healthy lifestyle.