Exploring The Importance of Getting Enough Sleep

Exploring The Importance of Getting Enough Sleep

Presented by BetterHelp

Everyone knows how terrible it feels the morning after a rough night of sleep. After a night of tossing and turning, it’s easy to feel cranky, lethargic, and unmotivated. However, many people don’t know how harmful not getting enough sleep can actually be to your overall mental and physical well-being.

In this article, we’re taking a closer look at the importance of sleep. We’ll look at what causes sleep issues, the downsides of sleep deprivation, and share some tips for improving your sleep routine to get better sleep.

What Causes a Bad Night’s Sleep?

A bad night’s sleep can be caused by many things. Sometimes, people can identify what the issue is. For example, a partner who snores loudly, construction in the neighborhood, a newborn baby, or anxiety about a test the next day can all make it hard to sleep well. In these instances, when bad sleep has known causes, it’s much easier to understand and fix.

However, for many people, their poor sleep isn’t well understood, and it’s ongoing. The lack of sleep can be chronic, and that’s when the health consequences start adding up (more on that in a bit). So, what things can cause sleeping challenges when there isn’t a known disturbance?

Here are some of the top causes to consider:

  • Lifestyle choices – like drinking caffeine before bed, eating too late, or taking daytime naps can cause you to toss and turn.
  • Medications – some medications, like corticosteroids and beta blockers, can make it challenging to sleep.
  • Pain – pain, whether acute or chronic, can make it hard to find a comfortable position and sleep through the night.
  • Stress – stress about health, money, work, school, or family can keep a mind active and make it challenging to sleep.
  • Sleep Disorders sleep disorders, like insomnia, restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, and others, can cause chronic sleep issues.
  • Mental Health Conditions – like depression and anxiety, can impact the quality of your sleep.
  • Certain Medical Conditions – some medical conditions, like diabetes, high blood pressure, or hyperthyroidism, can make it more difficult to sleep.
  • Poor Sleep Environment and Hygiene – things like an uncomfortable bed or room temperature or behaviors like scrolling right before you try to sleep can greatly impact sleep quality.

There are several other things that can impact sleep, but these are some of the top culprits. If you’re unsure what’s causing your sleep issues, especially if they’re ongoing, it can be important to speak with a doctor to rule out any underlying conditions.

Why Sleep Matters

To understand why sleep matters, it’s important to look at its role in our overall health. The point of sleep isn’t just to make you feel more awake and refreshed in the morning. Instead, sleep allows the cells in your muscles, brain, and organs to repair every night. It also helps regulate the body’s metabolism and hormones.

As a result of this important function, not getting enough sleep can radically decrease the quality of your life and health and result in several unwanted consequences.

The Consequences of Not Sleeping Enough

People tend to underplay the impact of not getting enough sleep. However, this can be dangerous as the consequences of poor sleep can be disastrous. In fact, not getting enough sleep for one night can result in increased stress, pain, and emotional distress and a decrease in cognition, memory, quality of life, and performance.

Research demonstrates that sleep deficiency is linked to several chronic health conditions, including kidney disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, stroke, and depression.

The long-term effects of sleep deprivation include:

  • Memory issues
  • Mood changes
  • Accidents
  • Trouble with concentration and thinking
  • Weakened immune system
  • Higher risk for health issues
  • Lower sex drive
  • Poor Balance

Not getting enough sleep can be disastrous for nearly every facet of your life. However, it’s not just the consequences that matter. It’s also worth considering the benefits of getting enough sleep.

Benefits of High-Quality Rest

On the other hand, getting enough sleep can do incredible things for your physical well-being, mental health, and overall quality of life. There are several health benefits to getting enough high-quality sleep.

  • Improves heart health
  • Helps strengthen your immune system
  • Promotes growth
  • Supports weight management
  • Reduces the risk of injury
  • Boosts memory and learning
  • Increases attention span
  • And more

Research also shows that people who get enough good quality sleep live five years longer than their sleepy peers.

How to Sleep Better and Improve Your Overall Health and Wellness

For most people, a bad night’s sleep isn’t a regular occurrence. It’s a once-in-a-blue-moon thing that’s easily remedied by better sleep hygiene and lifestyle changes. You can start by limiting caffeine and alcohol intake and not eating too close to bedtime. You can stop all exposure to blue light (via phones, tablets, TV, etc.) a few hours before bed and make changes to make your bedroom more comfortable and peaceful.

However, if you aren’t sure what’s causing your issues, it’s important to seek advice from your healthcare provider to find and remedy any underlying issues. Ultimately, sleep is incredibly important to overall health, so it’s not something you should ignore.


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