Ah, sleep, we all need it, but rarely ever get enough of it. In this day and age, it seems like sleeping has taken a back seat in our lives as we continue to glorify busy and bustling lifestyles that carry on into the late hours of the night.
We are always eager to brag about all-nighters or about how little sleep we do get rather than praising a solid seven hours of uninterrupted REM.
While you may think sleep is for the weak, a lack of sleep is causing your downfall. It may seem like cutting your sleep schedule leads to you getting more items done off your to-do list, but in reality, you are negatively affecting your health.
So whether you have insomnia or being a busy bee, we want to give you a couple of reasons why you should make sleep a priority.
More Sleep = Better Productivity
Cutting down your hours of sleep may help you complete your projects or finish that book, but it is also leading to a decrease in your productivity and performance.
Many resources state that sleep links to brain functions that assist in: productivity, cognition, and concentration. In many instances, a lack of sleep links to decreased academic or work performance.
Helps Your Metabolism
Much research links a lack of sleep to an increase in weight and chances of obesity for many. The science behind this is because, during your sleep cycles, your body uses that time to convert calories to energy. This process is known as your metabolism. When your body cannot go through this energy conversion process during your sleep cycle, all the unused energy gets stored as fat.
Improves Your Mental Health
Many of those who report a lack of sleep, wether do due insomnia or another sleep-affecting disorder, are dealing with depression as well. Due to a lack of sleep, your body cannot function at its highest potential, leading to low performance in daily activities, reduced concentration, imbalanced appetites, and mental and physical exhaustion.
If you are dealing with sleep disorders or are just having trouble falling asleep, there are plenty of resources and tips to assist you. For example, participating in a sleep study based on your doctor's recommendations can help you get to the bottom of your sleeping issues and get a head start on how to address them. For those struggling with anxiety or depression, we encourage you to reach out to a therapist or even try meditation as a way to calm down your mind. Resources such as Talkspace, Calm, and Headspace are great resources to assist with your mental health and get your sleep schedule back on track.
Prevents Health Issues
Long-term health issues such as type 2 diabetes and Crohn's disease linked to lack of sleep because of energy conversion. With type 2 diabetes, if your body is not given the time to convert during your sleep, it can adversely affect your blood sugar levels, leading to pre diabetes and type 2 diabetes. With Crohn's disease, this is created by long-term inflammation of the digestive tract. Inadequate sleep is linked to inflammation as well.
In many studies, scientists have found that those who have been practicing proper sleep health reduced their chances of relapsing.
In the end, sleep can is seen as the action that keeps your body running at its fullest potential, and it should not be taken lightly. So get plenty of it!