Longevity Exercise Physiology Drummoyne, EdgecliffMarrickvilleCastle HillRandwickPymbleKingsgrove, Neutral Bay, and Coburg , would like to talk about why we need sleep. Sleep is so important for maintaining good health, recovery, and cognitive function. 

Everyone’s body is different, so there is no exact amount of sleep you should be getting. Experts recommend between 7 to 9 hours each night. If you are feeling unwell, or for younger children, more than 9 hours may be needed, and for adults, getting less than 7 hours every night is typically associated with poor health outcomes.

 

 

The consequences of poor sleep are systemic and varied – however the main consequences of poor sleep are increased risk of chronic disease, lower immunity, weight gain and issues with cognition and mood. 

 

  1. Increased risk of chronic disease

Due to the changes in your circulatory system that occur during sleep, having insufficient sleep significantly increases your risk of developing chronic cardiac diseases including heart disease, hypertension, and stroke. Additionally, our body’s metabolic processes are linked to our circadian rhythms, so poor sleep also affects our ability to process fat and sugar, increasing the risk of diabetes and other metabolic disorders. 

  1. Decreased or compromised immune function

Our immune system function varies at different times of the day, with certain processes becoming more active as we sleep. Improper or reduced sleep compromises this function, increasing our risk of developing infections.

 

  1. Increased weight gain

As mentioned before, our bodies metabolic processes and hormone levels change as we sleep. Poor quality sleep can increase the level of hormones that regulate hunger, increasing appetite and food consumption. This compounded with reduced metabolic function and decreased energy levels increases the risk of becoming overweight and obese.

 

  1. Decreased cognitive function and mood

Consolidation of memory and learning occur as we sleep, so not getting enough sleep can cause problems with focus and our ability to think clearly. This has flow on effects to our performance at work and school, and even daily activities such as driving, that require us to be more attentive and alert. It can also affect other physical functions, such as balance, increasing the risk of falls and other physical accidents. Additionally, poor sleep has been shown to increase moodiness, irritability and worsen symptoms of anxiety and depression.

 

How can I get better sleep?

Establishing good habits or ‘sleep hygiene’ practices are very important to improving our quality of sleep. Practices like having a regular bedtime, avoiding technology and other bedtime ‘rituals’ have been shown to improve quality of sleep.

Additionally, exercising regularly also greatly improves the quality of sleep. Exercise has been shown to help people fall asleep faster and have a more restful sleep. Furthermore, exercise helps manage the health risks of poor sleep, such as reducing our risk of chronic disease, weight management and improving mood and cognition.

 

 

If you would like to learn more about how exercise can improve your quality of sleep give Longevity Exercise Physiology a call on 1300 964 002 today!

 

 

References

https://www.healthline.com/health/sleep-deprivation/effects-on-body

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/sleep/why-sleep-important