Sleep affects nearly every tissue and system in the body, from the heart to metabolism and immune function. When you don’t get enough sleep, it can cause health problems that may last a lifetime.
Getting a good night’s rest can make you feel better and even help your brain perform at its best. It can also keep you healthy and prevent disease, like cancer or diabetes.
Everyone needs a little sleep, but it’s often hard to get enough of it at the right times. A busy lifestyle and the stress of modern life can keep us from catching some z’s.
Not having enough sleep can lead to serious medical conditions and increase your risk of depression, obesity, and chronic diseases, according to the CDC. The consequences can be expensive, and even life-threatening.
Sleep helps to fight infection and boost your immunity
During slumber, the body produces cytokines (proteins that help your body fight off infections) and antibodies. This helps your immune system fight off colds and the flu.
It also boosts the production of hormones that reduce your appetite, lower your blood pressure, and regulate your sleep cycles. In turn, those hormones can help you lose weight and stay healthy.
Sleep helps to heal your heart and blood vessels
People who don’t sleep well are at a greater risk for developing cardiovascular disease, which can damage the heart and blood vessels. The CDC recommends getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night for adults.
Sleep is a complex process that helps your brain function in ways you may not be aware of.
Scientists are still learning how sleep works, but they know it’s essential for your mental and physical well-being. In addition to helping your body repair itself, sleep can improve your memory and reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Insomnia is one of the most common sleeping disorders, and it can disrupt your life and relationships. If you suffer from insomnia, talk to a doctor about your symptoms and possible treatment.
Symptoms of mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression can be exacerbated by sleep problems, according to researchers. It can also lead to self-esteem issues and increased social isolation.
The connection between sleep and mental illness is still unclear, but research has shown that people with a history of depression have less REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and more daytime drowsiness.
A lack of deep sleep can also cause you to forget important things and become irritable. Fortunately, scientists have found that a type of deep sleep called slow-wave sleep can reverse these effects and increase the amount of time you spend in deep sleep.
During slow-wave sleep, your brain produces certain chemicals that improve memory and learning. It can also help your body flush out beta-amyloid, which is a protein that can damage the brain and cause Alzheimer’s.
Many studies have also linked sleep and a reduced risk of chronic health conditions, including high blood pressure and heart disease. In addition, studies have shown that poor quality sleep can affect how your body reacts to insulin, which is linked to a higher risk of diabetes.