With sleep often pushed to the back of the agenda, these are all the reasons sleep needs to become a priority.
Sleep deprivation can have drastic effects on your mental and physical health, but despite these effects many people still struggle to get a good night’s sleep. As a necessity of human existence, sleep is just as importance as eating, breathing or drinking, however, it is often not as valued. Around 15 per cent of American’s said they felt sleep was a waste of time in a survey with the Better Sleep Council. With a host of health problems linked to sleep deprivation it has never been so important to get a good night’s sleep.
- Increased risk of depression.
While sleep disorders and trouble sleeping have been symptoms of depression for quite some time, research has recently linked sleep deprivation as a cause of depression. A study with around 3,700 participants who had insomnia found that the individuals who received treatment for their sleep disorder had “significant reductions” in their depression.
2. Weakened immune system.
During sleep and while you rest, your body is given a chance to reinforce its immune system and its capacity to identify and respond to dangerous antigens. By reducing your sleep quality and quantity your immune system isn’t given the same opportunity and will find it harder to fight off and recover from sicknesses.
3. Reduced ability to deal with stress.
Having eight to nine hours of constant, quality sleep will significantly improve your ability to deal with short and long term stress. Along with regulating your mood, sleep improves your decision making, judgement and concentration. A lack of sleep will decrease your energy while impacting your concentration which is vital when dealing with stressors.
4. Increased risk of anxiety.
Similar to depression, research has strongly indicated that a lack of sleep not only worsens anxiety but can also instigate it. Sleep deprivation will exacerbate the feeling of anxiety and sleep itself may even become a source of anxiety. With this dangerous cycle hard to break out of, it’s important to focus on getting quality sleep each and every night.
5. Decreased sex drive.
Living a healthy lifestyle includes having a healthy sex life which in turn improves your mental and physical health. A lack of sleep has been shown to decrease an individual’s arousal and sexual desire, with some sleep disorders linked to sexual problems.
Some great ways to get your sleeping schedule back on track includes; not looking at blue light around two hours before bed, getting a consistent bedtime routine, only using your bed for sleep and sex, not consuming caffeine after lunchtime, not exercising late in the night and more!
With so many negative side effects to a bad night’s sleep, how will this change your night time routine and your prioritisation of sleep?
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By Zoe Moffatt.