We all know that we should try to get a full night’s sleep, but it’s hard to prioritize sleep over all the other things competing for time in our busy schedules. If you need more incentive to put sleep at the top of your “to do” list, check out all the benefits of getting enough sleep.
Sleep Is Good for Your Heart
Getting too little (and, according to recent research, too much) is bad for your heart. People who don’t get enough sleep have a higher risk of:
Elevated blood pressure
Coronary artery disease
Your heart needs to rest, and when you’re not getting enough sleep, it can trigger an inflammatory response in your blood vessels, which can close them if they’re narrowed with plaque.
Sleep Is Good for Your Metabolism
Your metabolism controls how quickly and effectively your body burns up the calories you eat. People who don’t get enough sleep often suffer from type 2 diabetes, eating disorders, and other metabolic disorders. A lack of sleep can impair your body’s hormones, causing your body to store more of its calories as fat, causing you to gain weight even if you are on a diet. It may also make you feel like you have no energy. Getting enough sleep is an essential first step if you want to lose weight and get healthy.
Sleep Is Good for Your Mind
Sleep is essential for your brain. A lack of sleep can contribute to mood disorders. A lack of sleep can also cause you to lose motivation or interest in all the things you formerly loved. If you’re not getting enough sleep, it can be hard for you to function during the day. Studies have shown that driving or working when fatigued may lead to the same accident risk as being drunk.
Are You Really Getting Enough Sleep?
Getting enough sleep isn’t just about going to bed at a certain time and getting up at a certain time. It’s about making sure that your sleep is of a sufficient quality to restore your body and mind. If you’re spending enough hours in bed, but you’re still feeling unrested and sleepy during the day, you may have a sleep disorder. For example, you may think you spend eight hours a night sleeping, but you may actually be awakening hundreds of times a night because of sleep apnea, a condition in which your breathing stops during sleep.
The only way to know for sure if you’re getting good sleep at night is with a sleep test, which may be conducted using a simple device you wear at home in bed. Talk to your primary care doctor about getting one.
For help evaluating your sleep in Littleton, please contact Dr. Andy Fine today.