In a previous post, I discussed the 4 stages of sleep and some tips I follow to get a good night’s sleep.
In this post, I want to discuss some of the nasty side effects of not getting enough sleep.
But first: why do we even need sleep?
During the day, your body is focused on activities and getting things done. This changes when we sleep. The body gets to rest and the brain “cleans house.”
Scientists have discovered that a whole host of activities occur when the lights go out. The brain starts to sort out all of the information you processed during the day, and runs a systems check on all of your hormones and enzymes, while it also self cleans, organizes and removes harmful debris.
Lack of sleep can have effects on other systems as well including:
- Bone: repairs wear and tear.
- Muscle: recovers from injuries.
- Pancreas: helps breakdown sugars from our diet.
- Skin: improves elasticity and repairs damage.
If you are not sleeping enough, those processes can’t happen, which can then lead to serious issues. One of the most obvious issues is falling asleep during the day whether at work or while driving.
When you do not get the recommended 7-9 hours a night, this can lead to:
- more accidents
- trouble thinking and concentrating
- memory issues
- weakened immune system
- weight gain
- high blood pressure
- increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.
It is estimated that up to 70 million Americans are not getting a good night’s sleep. The Centers for Disease Control and prevention considers insufficient sleep a public health epidemic.
Chronic sleep restriction is a stress on the body. The brain needs sleep to “clean out the garbage.” Your brain makes antioxidants to clean up the free radicals that are produced during the day. If this doesn’t happen then neurons die off, and once they are gone…they’re GONE.
If you are not sleeping well, I suggest keeping a journal and tracking the time you go to bed, what you ate that day and levels of exercise. Try one or two tips mentioned from part I to improve your rest and your health.
Remember the KEY is to start so small that it is impossible to fail.
Have a great week and let me know how you are doing with your sleep. What did you find helpful that works for you?
Just a friendly reminder that MOSS Rehabilitation Center is here for you during these interesting times. So if there is something on your mind or you just want some interaction with the “outside world” then please let me know.
We are just a phone call, email or Facebook post away.