How Sleep Affects Health
It’s fairly common knowledge adults are supposed to get 7 hours or more of good-quality sleep every night. Regular sleep schedules and a good mattress are some of the key factors to getting a good night’s sleep. But why is all of this sleep necessary? The answer is simple: sleep affects your health.
Lack of sleep can drastically affect your immune system. When you don’t get quality sleep, you’re more likely to get sick if you’re exposed to a virus. This is because while you sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines. When you have an infection, certain cytokines need to increase to fight off inflammation. If you aren’t sleeping enough, these cytokines don’t get released.
Antibodies and cells that are meant to fight infections are also reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep. That’s why when you’re sick, it’s generally advisable to sleep so your immune system can produce antibodies and cytokines to fight the virus off.
High blood pressure is one of the leading risks for heart disease and stroke. In fact, about 1 in 3 American adults have high blood pressure, and thus are at risk. What does this have to do with sleep, though?
The answer is simple; when you fall asleep, your blood pressure goes down. As high blood pressure can damage your arteries and decrease the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart, it’s important to sleep well to reduce the strain. If you regularly sleep less than the recommended minimum of 7 hours, you may have steeper increases in blood pressure. Furthermore, if you already have high blood pressure, lack of sleep can make your blood pressure worse.
Mood and Mental Health
We’ve all had those moments where we’ve had a bad night’s sleep and woken up disoriented and in a foul mood. Generally, not getting enough sleep results in most people having a harder time controlling their emotions. This can also result in making it harder to make good decisions and coping with the challenges of daily life.
Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can cause increased anxiety and distress in otherwise healthy adults. And if you already have mental health issues, like general anxiety or depression, the effects are even worse.
Sleep is important to your cognitive performance in your daily life. Concentration, reflexes, and decision making are drastically affected when you don’t get enough sleep.
Studies have shown that when you don’t get enough sleep, your reflexes and decision making skills aren’t at their best. This can result in you being a danger to yourself and others. For example, sleep deprivation can actually impair your cognitive and motor performance as much as drinking alcohol. Or imagine you’re a nurse who handles important medication or equipment. A lack of sleep can result in a mistake that could do a patient harm, like mixing up medications. So regularly getting a good night’s sleep can prevent you from getting into accidents or making dangerous mistakes.
Sleep affects health, which is why you need to sleep on a mattress that suits your body and will offer you optimal support and comfort. We want you to wake up happy and healthy, so if you’ve been having trouble sleeping, come to our showrooms where we can set you up with a custom mattress that will provide you with the sleep your body needs.