Research shows that more than a third of adults don’t get enough sleep. A lack of sleep goes beyond just making it harder to wake up in the morning – in fact, it puts your health at risk. Getting enough sleep keeps you focused and energized, but it also affects your health. Not getting enough sleep puts you at risk of systemic health problems and mental distress.
Studies have shown a connection between poor sleep and increased hunger for calorie-dense foods high in carbohydrates. People who haven’t had enough sleep have higher levels of hunger hormones and lower levels of satiety hormones and therefore tend to consume more calories than they would on days after they’ve had enough sleep. If you’re already tired, it’s harder to make healthy choices, and you might find yourself choosing a high-calorie, convenient food over a healthier one that takes more energy to make.
Increased Stress and Inflammation
When you’re tired, you’re not running on all cylinders, and that can affect your mood. Low mood leads to stress, and stress adds inflammatory hormones to the body. Long-term stress like that produced by a lack of sleep is bad for overall health and emotional wellbeing.
Higher Risk of Heart Disease and Diabetes
Sleep deprivation is associated with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, not to mention weight gain, which can result in heart disease. It’s harder to lose weight when you don’t have the energy to exercise, which only exacerbates the problem.
This can also affect kids, too – kids and teens need sleep for their growing bodies and developing brains. Adolescents who don’t get enough sleep are equally at risk for weight gain and higher cholesterol which can develop into health problems later in life.
Reduced Attention Span
Not getting enough sleep makes it harder to focus. People who are sleep-deprived might notice that they have difficulty staying awake on their drive to work in the morning, but it can also affect tasks throughout the day. Getting enough sleep helps you focus and complete tasks more quickly and successfully.
If you’re suffering from the effects of poor sleep, contact Dr. Richard Van Gurp at Carolina Sleep Solutions to find the best solution for you. Request an appointment online or call 704.746.3160 today.