If you find yourself feeling drowsy, sluggish or unmotivated, the culprit is most often inadequate sleep. We all know on a cursory level how important sleep is to our health. But do you know the effect sleep has on your body, from a cellular to a system level?
In reality, most people don’t fully realize the vital role sleep plays in physical health and wellness. The majority of adults don’t get the full amount of sleep they truly need — a phenomenon called sleep debt.
When your body is deprived of sleep, it doesn’t have the opportunity to do its job on a hormonal level.
Over time, inadequate sleep can cause problems, including an increase in the risk of weight-related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity. The reasons why sleep-deprived people are in the crosshairs of these conditions is due to the fact that sleep helps to regulate the hormones associated with body weight. When your body is deprived of sleep, it doesn’t have the opportunity to do its job on a hormonal level.
Less sleep, more risk
The risks of developing other illnesses, such as stroke, heart disease and immune deficiency — diseases that have a profound effect on your nervous, circulatory and immune systems, respectively — can also increase when the body isn’t given the chance to properly rest. Conditions may worsen over time if sleep patterns and habits don’t change.
For women, a lack of sleep can also negatively affect — and even harm — the body as it address conditions such as menstruation, pregnancy and menopause.
Fuel your body
Physicians recommend getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night, a ballpark range that you can use as a guide. Set yourself up for rest by making the most of your waking hours. Eat solid, healthy meals and snacks; exercise regularly; and engage in de-stressing activities that you enjoy.
If you remember that a lack of sleep is harmful to your body, it may help you put sleep in the category of “priority” rather than in the peripheral.
Learn more about the ways sleep effects your body by attending the Advances in Medicine lecture series, presented by Texas Health Resources in partnership with Laura W. Bush Institute for Health. Upcoming lectures are scheduled for October 15 at Texas Health Plano; October 16 at Texas Health Dallas, and October 24 in Allen.
Lectures are complimentary with limited space. Reservations are required and can be made online or by calling 877-847-9355.
Note: Doctors are not employees/agents of the hospital.