Modern life leaves its mark on most people and can negatively affect health. Constant stress, poor nutrition, inactivity — all this seriously affects the body. And if you add here poor sleep, chronic lack of sleep or insomnia, the problem is exacerbated. The brain works in multitasking mode throughout the day, simultaneously controlling all the processes in the body, remembering information, generating speech. If he is not given proper rest, there is a decrease in efficiency, headache and depression. But not only does the brain suffer from lack of sleep, the body can also lower immunity, form excess weight or increase pressure in response to persistent sleep problems. Why is sleep so important, why do you need to sleep every day?
A third of life is in a dream: why?
As adults, people on average spend about a third of their lives sleeping. At least this is the amount of sleep that experts recommend for people to stay healthy. And accordingly, a third of the day is 8 hours, the standard recommendation for the duration of sleep in order to get enough sleep and maintain performance. But does everyone know why such recommendations?
Despite the fact that sleep is one of the basic, vital functions of the body, and this is what all people do, as well as animals with complex nervous systems, there is still a veil of mystery and a lot of myths around the mechanisms and theories of sleep. Scientists are still not entirely sure why people sleep (and exactly a third of the day), how exactly this mechanism developed. However, today many hypotheses have been put forward to explain why sleep is so important for health and how it affects the human brain and body.
Brain function: the impact of sleep
Although the body goes to sleep, the brain does not completely turn off and does not sleep. However, during sleep, its mode of operation differs significantly from daytime. The information received during the day is analyzed and “laid out into strips”, self-cleaning of metabolic products and a “reboot” of the system take place: and a change of activity is also a rest. Therefore, without enough sleep, the brain will not be able to function properly. Lack of sleep leads to problems with concentration, performance, cognition, memory, and brain productivity. However, when a person gets enough sleep regularly, studies show that both children and adults experience improved memory and problem-solving skills.
The effect of constant lack of sleep on the health of the heart and the condition of blood vessels is known. People who sleep less than 7 hours a night are at much greater risk of cardiovascular disease (such as stroke, coronary heart disease) than those who get 7 to 8 hours of adequate sleep. In addition, people suffering from insomnia naturally have 15–20% higher blood pressure, which increases the risk of complications.
It has been proven that insomnia and depression are linked. Often, sleep problems are considered the result of depression, although many researchers tend to believe an inverse relationship. Over the course of many years of research, scientists have identified several mental health problems, including depression, that have been strongly associated with inadequate sleep and sleep disorders (insomnia, awakenings at night, nightmares). One example of a pathology that negatively affects overall health and mood is sleep apnea, which is associated with poor sleep. People with this syndrome experience depression much more often than those who sleep normally. Overall, about 90% of people diagnosed with depression also experience problems with sleep quality, including difficulty falling asleep, nighttime awakenings, and shallow sleep.
Some researchers report that insufficient sleep reduces the ability to recognize other people’s important emotional cues, including happiness and anger. This factor can make it difficult to socially interact with others, leading to communication problems and social isolation.
Inflammation and immune function
Against the background of chronic lack of sleep, the immune system suffers significantly. People who systematically lack sleep or suffer from insomnia are 30% more likely to get ARVI. One of the best things you can do to boost your immunity against a cold or flu is to get enough sleep. In addition, the activity of the immune system is also important in the suppression of inflammation, including systemic inflammation. Systemic inflammation has been shown to play a critical role in many serious health problems, ranging from heart disease to asthma, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and diabetes. So it’s important to know that poor sleep can cause signs of inflammation and cell damage. One example is the link between poor sleep and inflammatory bowel disease, which has been shown in a number of studies published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology and Gastroenterology & Hepatology.
Physical performance and health
Insufficient sleep can affect health by reducing physical activity. If a person spends a lot of time in the fresh air, doing daily activities or exercising, he definitely needs sleep to achieve the best results. For example, in a study in a group of older women, poor sleep was associated with greater difficulty performing daily activities, walking, and decreased grip strength. In addition, in people with a lack of sleep, their overall health suffers. People who are usually active, such as those who are active in various sports, also have better speed, recovery times. But if they do not sleep well, then the results are drastically reduced. This is especially noticeable in athletes, in whom violations of the regimen and sleep time reduce athletic performance.
Type 2 Diabetes Risk
If a person over 40 sleeps less than six hours a night, then they have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Insufficient sleep generally negatively impacts blood glucose levels in the general population. Due to stress due to lack of sleep, mechanisms for increasing plasma glucose are activated, which predisposes to diabetes. This negatively affects health.
In addition, the weight also changes. Studies have shown that insufficient sleep is associated with the likelihood of obesity in children and adults by 89 and 55%, respectively. One reason for this relationship appears to be related to hormones. When a person does not get enough sleep, the work of appetite hormones is disrupted. For example, levels of the appetite stimulant ghrelin increase while levels of the appetite suppressant leptin decrease. These reactions can lead to weight gain.