We all need our beauty sleep, but did you know getting sufficient rest has resounding benefits for both the mind and body? In fact, lack of sleep can negatively affect our productivity, mood and general well-being. According to the Center for Disease Control, about one-third of Americans report they get less than the recommended amount of sleep per night.
Getting the right amount of sleep:
Increases cognitive functioning: The brain goes through a self-cleaning process every night as we sleep, clearing itself of harmful toxins. If we don’t get enough sleep, the brain cannot perform this process, which may explain feelings of grogginess.
Boosts the body’s healing power: As you sleep, your brain releases hormones that facilitate the healing of damaged tissues and blood vessels. Wounds heal more quickly when we get the proper amount of rest. Your immune system also relies on sleep to function correctly and fight off harmful substances.
Stabilizes mood and alleviates stress: You may have noticed that not getting enough sleep makes you wake up moody the next day. Sleep tells the brain to shut off the production of stress hormones, which allows the body to relax.
Aids in weight control: Those who get less sleep per night are more likely to overeat the next day. People who do not get sufficient rest at night are also more likely to consume more readily-available, less healthy fast-food items with a higher caloric value.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need an average of 8 hours of sleep per night. A pattern of sleep deprivation is detrimental to your health, placing you at a higher risk for developing certain health issues.
Sleep deprivation can lead to:
Weight gain: Not getting enough sleep can mess with your hormone levels and make you gain weight. You may also crave more carbohydrates than usual and eat more often throughout the day.
Type 2 diabetes: While there is no single cause of type 2 diabetes, we do know that sleep plays a role in the development of this condition. Lack of sleep negatively affects your hormones, including your insulin levels. Without enough insulin, your blood sugar levels rise, leading to type 2 diabetes.
Depression and anxiety: Getting sufficient rest lowers the amount of stress hormones in your body, readjusting your mood and stabilizing the rest of your hormones. Lack of sleep can lower your energy levels and make you less productive. The absence of motivation can lead to depression and anxiety, both of which can make it even more challenging to get sufficient sleep according to the National Sleep Foundation.