The Link Between Sleep and Health

The Link Between Sleep and Health

Monday, February 18, 2019 2:31:25 AM America/Los_Angeles

It can be tempting to trade sleep for a few precious hours of wakefulness, but it is important to consider the hidden costs. Sleep is precious, too. While sleep is very important for health, it is often overlooked and dismissed.

Sleep is often one of the first things to go when people feel pressed for time. Many view sleep as a luxury and think that the benefits of limiting the hours they spend asleep outweigh the costs. People often overlook the potential long-term health consequences of insufficient sleep, and the impact that health problems can ultimately have on one’s time and productivity.

Many of the costs of poor sleep go unnoticed. Medical conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, develop over long periods of time and result from a number of factors, such as genetics, poor nutrition, and lack of exercise. Insufficient sleep has also been linked to these and other health problems and is considered an important risk factor. Not surprisingly, these potential adverse health effects can add up to increased health care costs and decreased productivity. More importantly, insufficient sleep can ultimately affect life expectancy and day-to-day well-being.

Although scientists have just begun to identify the connections between insufficient sleep and disease, most experts have concluded that getting enough high-quality sleep may be as important to health and well-being as nutrition and exercise.

While sleeping well is no guarantee of good health, it does help to maintain many vital functions. One of the most important of these functions may be to provide cells and tissues with the opportunity to recover from the wear and tear of daily life. Major restorative functions in the body such as tissue repair, muscle growth, and protein synthesis occur almost exclusively during sleep.

Many other conclusions about the role sleep plays in maintaining health have come from studying what happens when humans and other animals are deprived of the sleep they need. For example, scientists have discovered that insufficient sleep may cause health problems by altering levels of the hormones involved in such processes as metabolism, appetite regulation, and stress response.

It is important to make sure that you get the quality as well as the quantity of sleep that your body needs. By getting the sleep you need, you will feel as well as perform better with your day to day tasks, handle stress better, be in a better mood and as an extra plus you will look better too.

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