We all know the value of a good night’s sleep – and the feeling of tiredness when we don’t. When we sleep, there are both physical and mental processes at work. On one side, we’re giving our bodies time to rest. We conserve energy by decreasing our heart rate, breathing, and body temperature. And at the same time, our brains remain active – and performs tasks that lead to our physical growth and development.
As a general guideline, we need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to rest well. Not getting enough sleep can have a severe impact on your health and wellbeing. And that’s why it is one of the foundations of good health. Here’s how it affects other areas of your life too.
Did you know that lack of sleep can make you gain weight? A recent study showed that people who sleep less tend to weigh more. The most common reasons for this correlation are a decrease in motivation to exercise and hormone imbalances. When you don’t sleep, you feel too tired to workout, and as a result, your motivation suffers. In terms of hormones, poor sleep affects the hormones that balance your appetite. Therefore those who get less sleep tend to eat more calories.
For a long time, mental health issues have been strongly tied to lack of sleep. And although doctors have often associated it as a symptom, it has been known to raise risks and even contribute to some disorders. That’s because it affects your stress hormones and neurotransmitters on a deep level. In short, a hormonal imbalance is enough to impair your thinking and ability to regulate your emotions. This opens you to be more prone to experience negative feelings and can even amplify your current mental health problems.
A lack of sleep reduces your ability to interact with people. The reason is that when we are sleep deprived, we have a hard time identifying facial expressions. Another study showed that more accurately. We can’t seem to interpret feelings of anger and happiness. And as you may have guessed, if you can’t empathize with people, then it’s tough to engage in conversations and establish meaningful relationships in the long-term. Also, lack of sleep usually leads to a decrease in motivation. If you’re too tired to socialize, then you’re most likely going to want to stay home and sleep.
Next blog: Exercising