Effects of Sleep on Physical Health


The industry of sleep has experienced quite the upheaval in recent years. Shopping for a mattress is higher than ever before, people are more invested in ensuring that they get a good night’s sleep, and the world is more obsessed with the sleep industry than ever. On all counts, it seems like sleep is finally getting the attention it so desperately needs. However, a lot of this newfound emphasis is built on people simply wanting to feel better, and they know they will if they sleep more soundly. We have all felt the difference in our energy levels and even out attitude when we sleep soundly as opposed to when we have a bad night’s sleep. We all recognize that there is a distinct advantage to ensuring we initiate and maintain solid sleeping patterns, but we rarely (if ever) consider the impact sleep has on our overall health on a deeper, more fundamental level. What about the actual health benefits? Why is sleep so fundamentally important to our overall health, or more specifically even, our physical health?

Sleep is crucial for the body to function at its best, but it is also important for the body to look and feel its best. When a person experiences fractured sleeping patterns, bodily functions like one’s metabolism are impacted significantly. Over time, if left unchecked, these changes in bodily functions can manifest in unhealthy representations in the body. In the case of affected metabolism, the results manifest in weight gain. It really is quite simple. The less sleep one gest, the higher their levels of stress hormone cortisol are. The body literally needs sleep, and without it, the body becomes stressed, overworked. Cortisol increases your appetite. A lack of sleep hinders the body’s ability to process things properly. And if you oversleep, your body does not get the chance to burn off the energy as you are awake. Either way, the unhealthy fats and sugars remain in the body, taking longer to break down. And so, weight gain often ensues.

There are more studies and research than ever that showcase how getting less than six hours sleep can actually hurt your blood vessels as well. This is bad news for obvious reasons. High blood pressure and obesity can and do occur in individuals who have issues with their blood vessels, and so it becomes fundamentally important for people to understand and practice healthy sleeping habits to give their bodies the best likelihood of being at their healthiest. The jury is in. The research keeps pouring in, as do the countless studies. Sleep is just as important – if not more so, in some cases – for overall health as diet and exercise are. We are now in the position of having the awareness to make the necessary changes, and it is crucial that we do so. As it stands, we have the fundamental knowledge that sleep is important for practically all the body’s physical systems.

From weight distribution and blood pressure, to cognitive functioning and memory, the body needs sleep. It really is as simple as that. When we sleep, our bodies have the chance to repair themselves from the day’s labors, and replenish and revitalize for the day ahead. Sleep is an important factor in achieving the best results for our bodies on a long-lasting level, and we can no longer ignore this fact. Perhaps more than anything else, sleep is fundamentally important to our physical health, as well as our mental health and overall health. There has never been so much information, so much knowledge and overall awareness surrounding the topic, and we are in the position of having the power to instill positive change – and to maintain it. To ignore all that would be irresponsible, and so the responsibility to not only change our sleeping habits, but to instill a healthy view of sleep and its relationship to our overall health in future generations, has never been stronger, more prominent.

We have all felt the phenomenal difference in our energy levels, and even our attitude to the world around us, when we get a good night’s sleep. However, what many of us fail to consider deeply is the effect that sleep has on our overall health. We rarely, if ever, consider the impact that our sleeping habits have on all aspects of our bodies, and the result of that failure to understand is that we are locked in a collectively unhealthy pattern – but not for long. We all want to feel and look our best, but sometimes people lack the awareness. And this is when the studies start, and the research piles up. Sleep is crucial to our health. There are many reasons why, but ultimately it comes down to one thing: what our body needs, not what it wants. This is what is most important, what ultimately controls it all.

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