Do you feel tired and worn out during the day? Are you irritable lately? Perhaps it is time you have a look at your sleep habits and patterns.
How well you feel during the day is a direct result of how well you slept last night. Quality sleep is essential for sound mental health, physical wellbeing and quality life. This is because while we sleep, our body is at work supporting healthy brain function and carry out maintenance to ensure our physical wellbeing. In fact, in children, sleep promotes growth and development.
So, what happens if you do not get the required amount of sleep? Well, the harm sleep deprivation does can occur in an instant or it may lead to more chronic health problems. It can also have an impact on your day-to-day functioning and social interactions.
Let’s take a look at how a good night’s sleep affects our physical, mental, and emotional health:
A healthy brain and sound emotions
While you sleep, the brain recuperates from the previous day’s activities and prepares for the next day. New pathways are being formed to help you gather and store new information during the day. Studies have shown that a good night’s rest is linked to improved learning. Sleep enhances your ability to pay attention, learn new skills, solve problems, make decisions and be creative.
One will not be able to do the above activities well in a sleep-deficient state. Sleep deficiency also creates issues in managing emotions and behavior, and is linked to risk-taking behavior, depression and even suicide. Children who are sleep deprived often face social problems like getting along with others and emotional issues that make them impulsive and angry.
Sleep allows repair and healing of the heart and blood vessels. In absence of a good night’s rest, the chances of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney issues, stroke and diabetes increase. By affecting how the body reacts to insulin, sleep deficiency can put you at a risk of diabetes.
Sleep is responsible for maintaining the balance of hormones ghrelin (the hormone that makes you feel hungry) and leptin (gives a feeling of fullness) that control hunger. A lack of sleep raises the levels of ghrelin and reduces leptin, making you feel hungry. Over time, sleep deficiency can increase the risk of obesity.
Good sleep is essential for the normal functioning of the immune system. A lack of sleep can affect how the immune system responds to infections and foreign bodies.
Boosting productivity and safety
A good night’s sleep allows you to function properly at work or school. In a sleep-deprived state, tasks may take longer to finish as reaction times decrease and mistakes become more common.
A lack of sleep may lead to a condition known as microsleep, these are brief moments of sleep that may occur while you are fully awake; you might not even be aware of it. This can affect your productivity and also question your safety, say while driving. Decreased productivity in performing various tasks and a lack of attention can lead to human errors while on the job, at home, or while travelling.
Hindustan Wellness’ advice on how can you ensure Quality Sleep
While you might not be able to control all factors that hinder sleep, you can make certain changes in the routine that will promote better sleep. You can start with these simple steps:
Plan a sleep schedule and stick to it
Plan a set time when you go to bed every night and wake up the next day, as it creates a consistent sleep-wake cycle for the body and ensures proper sleep.
Diet plays an important role
Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine near sleep time. The stimulating effects of caffeine and nicotine can take hours before they wear off. Alcohol will initially make you feel sleepy, but disrupts sleep later in the night. It helps to not fall asleep either stuffed or hungry. Take our online diet consultation to know more on this.
Regulate your activities around sleep time (create a bedtime rituals)
Relaxing activities like reading a book, listening to soothing music or a warm bath promote better sleep. Avoid using TV or other electronic devices near bedtime.
Indulge in physical activity during the day
Being physically active can help falling asleep faster and achieving a deeper sleep. However, exercising too close to bedtime can spike up energy levels and cause difficulty in falling asleep.
Avoid naps during daytime
If you are having trouble getting a good night’s sleep or have insomnia, limit daytime naps to 10 to 30 minutes. Longer daytime naps can interfere with sleep later at night.
Stressful thoughts can affect sleep. Take steps to manage stress, like listing task priorities, getting organized, and taking time to de-stress through fun activities once a while. An occasional sleepless night can be normal, but if you are having trouble sleeping on a regular basis, do contact our doctors online!
Disclaimer: This page/site provides general health and wellness information. The information provided in this page/site, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation or the advice of your Doctor or other health care provider.