Sleep deprivation can have a significant impact on both your mind and body. In addition to perpetuating serious health conditions, lack of sleep can negatively affect your mood and temperament, as well as your ability to focus on daily tasks. Plus, lack of sleep influences what and how much you eat. Since hormones are regulated during sleep, when you are sleep deprived, your hunger hormones become out of whack, which increases feelings of hunger and decreases satiety. It’s not a coincidence that you find yourself reaching for bagels and muffins when you’re exhausted.
Furthermore, sleep allows time for your mind and body to recover from the day’s work, and these important processes are cut short when you don’t get ample shut-eye. During the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep, your brain sorts the important information from the unimportant and files long-term memory. If this stage of your sleep cycle is shortchanged, your mental focus and acuity may decrease. Plus, you may feel cranky and short-tempered.
Need more incentive to prioritize healthy sleep habits? Sleeping less than seven hours a night is associated with weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure and depression, among other health risks. In addition, when you don’t get enough sleep, you may experience increased body aches and pains, reduced immune function and impaired performance at work. All of these problems can have a ripple effect on your daily habits.
On the flip side, making sleep a priority can help you achieve your other wellness goals, such as stress management. When your body and mind are well-rested, you’ll be able to respond to life with greater perspective and understanding. Try these tips for getting better sleep and creating the foundation for your overall wellness.
The payoff for adequate sleep goes far beyond banishing dark under-eye circles (although that’s an added perk). Dedication to this healthy habit is one of the best steps you can take to a healthier you.