Sleep is something many men know they need but don’t get enough of. Whether because of a busy work week or the constant juggling of life’s obligations, sleep can often become a lower priority. Before you make neglecting sleep a habit, however, make sure you are aware of how sleep can directly affect your physical and mental health.
Getting enough sleep is crucial not only for the body, but also for your mind. Sleep deprivation is linked to all sorts of physical problems, including a weakened immune system, heart issues and deteriorating skin. A lack of sleep can also have detrimental effects on your mind, including depression, memory retention and mood swings.
Before you set that morning alarm extra early, read on to learn more about some major ways sleep is directly involved when it comes to living a healthy life.
How Sleep Affects Physical Health
Your Immune System
Perhaps the most noticeable effect sleep has on your body is the way it works with your immune system. How many times have you pushed too hard without enough sleep only to crash with sickness? This crash happens because when your body sleeps it is also doing essential work to repair your immune system.
Sleep enables your body to produce T-cells, which help you fight off sickness. Getting ample sleep is a great way to keep your immune system strong and help fight off illness before it even has the chance to take hold in your body.
Beauty sleep, as it turns out, is not just a silly thing to say. There are actually some direct connections between adequate sleep and your skin’s health. If you do not get enough sleep, your body may not produce enough of some of its hormones, including collagen. As a result, your skin won’t be as strong.
Over time, if you are continuously deprived of sleep, your skin can lose elasticity and even become thinner. This can lead to early wrinkles, sagging skin and the overall appearance that you are tired and worn out.
If you get plenty of sleep, your body can recharge, and your skin will inevitably improve its elasticity and collagen production. There is something to be said for taking meaningful rest in order to help look your best.
Your body produces many hormones daily, including insulin. When your body is healthy and performing normally, it produces the proper amount of insulin. This keeps your blood sugar at the right levels and keeps all of your organs happy.
If you are sleep-deprived, especially if you lack sleep consistently, your body may start reacting differently to the way it produces insulin. As a result, this faulty insulin production can raise your blood sugar and put you at higher risk for diabetes. If you are already diabetic, this can aggravate and complicate your blood sugar levels even further.
Sleep also has an effect on your heart. When you sleep your heart has a chance to relax a bit, and normally your blood pressure drops to a full resting heart rate. If you sleep less, your heart is not able to rest enough, which can lead to higher blood pressure than normal. High blood pressure is one of the main causes of heart disease.
When you get enough sleep, consider it your way of letting the heart rest with you before another busy day.
After reading all the potential health risks that come with poor sleeping habits, you should not be shocked to learn that sleep has links to longevity. Whether it is the dangers of performing tasks like driving while tired, or the higher risk of heart issues and diabetes, a lack of sleep is linked to an average shorter lifespan.
On the other hand, if you work diligently to get a healthy routine and a sleep schedule that works for your lifestyle and body, you are doing your part to increase longevity.
How Sleep Affects Mental Health
Mood And Outlook
It should come as no shock to find out sleep has a direct effect on your mood. When you get plenty of sleep it is much easier to start the day in a good mood. It will also make you alert and full of all the hormone levels and energy you need to get through the day.
If you are sleep deprived, you are more likely to wake up in a weak and fragile state. This can lead to involuntary mood swings. It can also cause depression if the sleep deprivation continues for long periods of time. If you find yourself struggling to control your emotions, make sure you are getting enough sleep.
Sleep can either hinder or improve your creativity. If you get ample sleep, then your body is able to process new concepts, and you will be able to stay alert. When you don’t get enough sleep, you might find it much harder to be creative. Your ability to concentrate on ideas, which is crucial for creative thought, can be much harder without enough sleep. You can also feel more distant from yourself mentally when you haven’t slept enough, which can make it difficult to connect with your creative side.
Ability To Learn
Sleep and focus are closely connected. If you sleep well then you will be alert and able to grasp even the most complex of subjects. When you do not sleep enough, you might find that your focus drifts.
A lack of sleep is linked to a higher difficulty in learning new skills and information. You are also much more inclined to make mistakes in the learning process. This, as you know, can lead to anger and frustration. You may just want to give up on a task altogether, and all because you did not sleep enough.
The Way You Remember
You need sleep to process memories. When you go through the phases of sleep, at some point in the night your body is working to solidify the events of the day in your mind. If you do not get enough rest, you might find that you are missing details in your recollections, or maybe you only remember bits and pieces of the day prior.
Remembering does not get easier as you grow older. This means you must make sure you get adequate rest in order to remember all of life’s critical moments. If you do not get enough sleep, you might experience a growing frustration and anxiety that comes from your inability to recall details and important meetings.
Sleep is easy to push off when there is too much on your plate. Unfortunately, this solution is not sustainable, and it certainly isn’t healthy. Luckily, today’s world has lots of ways to help make sure you get enough sleep. You can even utilize your phone to help get you on a rest schedule or use a smart device to monitor your rest patterns. Whatever you choose, make sure you get the rest you need. Your mind and body will thank you in the morning.