The three pillars that uphold good health are diet, exercise, and sleep. Most people pay attention to the former two and often forget about sleep. It has been shown that no matter how much one exercises or maintains a good diet, their efforts are in vain if they don’t get enough sleep. Therefore Why do you need sleep?
All adults must get at least 7 hours of good quality sleep. When you sleep, your body gets the necessary time to recuperate and rejuvenate after working hard the entire day. It gives the essential organs like the brain, the lungs, and the heart a chance to take a break.
Acute lack of sleep
Over a short period, lack of sleep could cause some minor issues like:
- Slowed cognition and memory impairment: You are unable to retain information and are slow to respond to external stimuli.
- Excessive fatigue: You are constantly tired throughout the day and less likely to participate in day-to-day activities.
- Moodiness: You become irritable and angry. This causes you to be less communicative with others.
Acute lack of sleep can usually be recovered by “catching up on sleep” on weekends.
However, not getting enough sleep over longer durations could cause a plethora of serious health issues. This is known as chronic sleep deprivation. This occurs when one doesn’t get adequate sleep for weeks or even months.
Chronic sleep deprivation
Chronic sleep deprivation affects all the major systems of the body.
- Cardiovascular system: Sleep helps the body to heal the blood vessels and processes that control blood pressure. Inadequate sleep increases the probability of cardiovascular conditions like heart attack and stroke.
- Digestive system: Hunger is controlled by two hormones- ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin makes us feel hungry while leptin causes us to feel satiated. Sleep deprivation causes more ghrelin to be released. This makes us crave high-sugar and high-fat food. Hence this can lead to obesity.
- Endocrine Systems: Endocrine systems are responsible for hormones. It is controlled by a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. Lack of sleep severely impacts this function. This causes hormonal imbalance which is a major issue by itself.
- Immune system: While sleeping, the immune system produces antibodies to fight infections. Sleep helps the immune system function efficiently. Sleep deprivation slows down the immune system. This leads to a vulnerability against various infections.
- Muscular system: Lack of sleep slows down the circulation of nutrients between the muscles. This causes a loss of physical strength.
- Nervous system: During sleep, the nerves form neural pathways essential for the transfer of information. When we don’t get adequate sleep, it is difficult for the nerves to do this. This hinders our memory and knowledge retention, cognitive functions, and much more. It also decreases the coordination between various systems of the body. In the long term, such issues can lead to depression and anxiety.
- Respiratory system: Lack of sleep makes us more susceptible to the common cold and flu. It could also worsen any existing respiratory conditions.
Sleep deprivation might not seem like a significant issue. But it has been proven time and time again, that it leads to many bigger problems. We might not realize it but sleep is as important to the body as food and water.
Hence it is important to follow a set sleep pattern and maintain healthy sleep habits. The Himalayan Yeti with its wonderous Soulful Sleep strips helps you regulate your sleep cycle and feel refreshed.
Frequently asked questions
How much sleep do you require?
A: An adult requires anywhere between 7-9 hours of sleep for optimal health.
How to get proper sleep?
A: Avoid any strenuous activity before sleep. Avoid caffeine and tobacco at least 5-6 hours before your sleeping time.
Why is sleep important?
A: Your body repairs itself while you sleep. It gives some rest to your vital organs like the brain and heart.