In the United States, insomnia is one of the most common health issues. It is estimated that a third of Americans suffer from sleep problems, with half experiencing sleeplessness at least once or twice a week. While that is already bad enough, the other half experience sleepless nights much more often, creating a serious issue.
The first step to a good night’s sleep is a good mattress. I recommend Tuft & Needle. I’ve also got a Tuft & Needle coupon code page which I’ll keep updating. Another great mattress is the Loom and Leaf mattress. It can get a bit expensive so I’ve got a coupons page for Loom and Leaf. This article explains why sleep is important, and what you need to know about the way sleep affects us and the way we feel. If you think sleeplessness is causing issues with your sleep pattern or even resulting in health issues, keep reading to better understand the reason sleep is needed, and how you can begin to get enough sleep again.
Five Stages of Sleep
Sleep helps the body as well as the mind repair itself and get ready for the following day. Lacking sleep does not just leave the body feeling tired, it can lead to irritability and become a danger to yourself and others as it deteriorates your quality of life.
Sleep happens in five stages, and it is common to go between stages through the night. The first stage of sleep is light sleep, this allows the body to relax and begin breathing slower. When first going to bed this stage can be easy to drift in and out of, and it’s very common.
The second stage of sleep is where the brain waves slow and eye movement stops. Then, the third stage consists of slow delta brain waves, and has the occasional fast wave. Stage four is nearly all delta brain waves.
These later stages do not have eye or body movement, and can be hard to wake a person from these stages. It can also be disorientating experience for the person, so it is only recommended in emergencies.
It is within these deeper stages of sleep that the body I able to repair itself and handle important physiological processes. But, the fifth stage tends to target the mind more than anything else. This stage is known as REM, or rapid eye movement stage.
REM sleep is very different than the other four stages, this is due to the fact breathing gets even more shallow and irregular, the blood pressure and heart rate increases, and it is where the majority of dreams happen.
There has been researched conducted that indicate that dreaming helps to improve the mental health of a person. It would seem that dreams are the minds way of processing the events that happened the day before. A lack of REM sleep can lead to various health problems, including anxiety disorders, depression, among other serious mental illness.
If your goal is to feel better the next day and be at your best, getting the REM sleep your body needs is very important. The REM stage of sleep tends to happen at the end of a regular sleep cycle, meaning if the body only gets a few hours of sleep a night, it may be missing the most important stage of sleep.
Lack of Sleep Leads to Negative Effects
The following are reasons that getting in the habit of a good sleep pattern is important to help you avoid various health issues. You may have a reason to turn that TV off early, and get more sleep each night so you don’t suffer from one of the many sleep issues in America.
Lack of Sleep slows the mind
Sleep is so important to the body and mental health that a single night of insufficient sleep is able to impact the body’s ability to stay alert, pay attention, and have issues concentrating and solving problems the following day. For those who do not get enough sleep at a young age, could have issues as they age and their mind develops, resulting in lower intelligence levels and mental development.
Increased Accident Risks
It has been shown by research that lack of sleep can lead to a person getting into more accidents and being injured more often on the job. This means a lack of sleep can affect those around you if you drive or work around others after getting insufficient sleep the night before.
It is estimated by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that fatigued drivers cause or fact into over 100,000 vehicle accidents, with more than 1,500 deaths each year.
Diabetes and Heart Disease
Those that suffer from insomnia are thought to be a higher risk for getting cardiovascular disease, having a heart attack or even strokes. A recent study discovered people who experienced issues falling asleep or staying asleep that wake up feeling unrested have three times the chance of developing heart failure over an 11-year span. Diabetes is another illness linked to insufficient sleep.
Those that only get six hours or less of sleep per night have a higher chance of weight gain because their body has a larger appetite and seems hungry more often. One study discovered those in this category have a 30% higher chance of becoming obese compared to those who get 7 to 9 hours of sleep. But, sleeping over 9 hours also seems to have a reversed affect with weight gain, making 7 to 9 hours the optimal time for rest.
Lack of Sleep Causes Aging
Did you know that not getting enough sleep can lead to a quicker aging process? It’s a long-term affect that happens when we are running on the stress hormone, cortisol, due to being tired all the time. Higher amounts of cortisol have been shown to have negative effects on collagen proteins that work like a glue to keep skin cells grouped together. This leads to having poor skin tone, fine lines, and even wrinkles.
Benefits of sleep
Adding just one extra hour of sleep can make a really big difference in your life, according to experts. There are studies that show that not getting enough and getting plenty of sleep can affect your weight, health, mood and even sex life.
If you are getting less than 7 hours of sleep nightly, below are some benefits that tell you why you should really get more sleep.
Getting a good nights sleep won’t give you disease immunity, but if you don’t get enough sleep you could end up with serious health problems like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and heart attacks. For most cases, the risks of sleep loss get serious after years. That may not be true. A recent study simulated effects of disturbed sleep patterns of shift works on 10 healthy adults. After 4 days, 3 out of 10 had high blood glucose levels that considered then pre-diabetic.
Better Sex Life
A recent poll stated that 26% of people state that their sex lives suck because they are just too tired. There is even evidence that shows impaired sleep in men can be due to low testosterone levels.
Not getting a lot of sleep can affect is indirect ways too. If you are only 28 and passing out during a date, that is a sign that you need more sleep.
If you suffer from acute or chronic pain from a new or prior injury, then getting enough sleep can make you feel like your hurt less than normal. There are a lot of studies that have shown that there is a link between having a low pain tolerance and not getting enough sleep. Unfortunately, being in pain makes it hard to sleep.Researchers have found that getting enough sleep is a good supplement for pain relief. If the pain is keeping you up, there are medications that are pain relievers with a sleep aid.
Getting plenty of sleep won’t make you the sunshine of the day, but you may notice that when you are dog tired, you are cranky. Not getting enough sleep will actually affect emotional regulation. When you are overtired, you will snap at people, laugh uncontrollably, or even burst into tears.
Better Weight Control
Getting plenty of sleep can help to maintain your weight and sleep loss can make you gain weight. If you are overtired, you are less likely to go on a jog or exercise or even cook a healthy meal. Leptin is what makes you feel full and when you don’t get plenty of sleep, your leptin levels will dramatically drop which results in you being hungry more.
If you have had a bad night’s sleep, you often wake up easily confused, fuzzy and just feel blah. Loss of sleep will affect how you think. It impairs your decision making, cognition and attention. When you are sleep deprived you are more likely to do weird things like leaving your cell phone in the freezer overnight.
These are just some benefits to sleep. It can help more than just those listed. It can even boost your immunity for certain illnesses like the flu.
In the end, if you are experiencing sleep issues it is best to begin paying attention to it now. If you have issue sleeping one or two nights per week, try making minor changes to correct your sleep pattern, turn the TV off and lay down earlier, etc. If you are experiencing sleeplessness more than two times per week, you may want to speak to your doctor as there could be underlining causes, such as insomnia.