Sleep and Your Health
Shared by Dr. Bryan Stephens
Get Some Z’s
Sleep is incredibly important to our health. When I don’t get enough, not only do I feel tired the next day, but it leaves me irritable, frustrated, sore, and unable to think clearly. While these are some of the more noticeable outward effects of losing sleep, there are many problems that develop that we don’t always notice immediately.
What we don’t always see is the impact that lack of sleep has on our overall health. Sleep is required for our body to recover and maintain normal metabolic functions. This includes our blood glucose regulation. Our body can compensate in short durations, but it is unable to sustain the glucose levels with chronic lack of sleep. This results in an increase in blood glucose levels and can add to the risk of developing diabetes. Sleep also impacts the overall inflammation in our body. When we are keeping up with our sleep habits, our body is able to go through the normal circadian rhythm (sleep cycle) in which hormones are released to decrease swelling and induce repair of tissues. Without the sleep, cortisol, a stress hormone, stays in our body and increases the inflammation. The increase in chronic inflammation plays a large role in many lifestyle diseases. Risk of cancer, stroke, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes are all increased by higher amounts of inflammation caused by stress and poor lifestyle habits.
There are a few ways to make sure you are getting restful sleep. First, make sure you turn off electronics and back lit devices 45 minutes before bed as the light can make it difficult for the brain to wind down and sleep. Second, make sure you keep getting adjusted. Besides making it easier to sleep by not tossing and turning due to pain, it helps alleviate one of the stressors due to improper function of a joint which can cause swelling. Third, make sure you don’t eat right before bed. Your sleep may not be as restful since your body is actively digesting the food instead of reaching a point where you can reach the deep levels of sleep.
Now, it’s getting late so I will go take my own advice and get to bed. I hope you sleep well and look forward to helping you next time!
Muhammed Bishir, Abid Bhat, Musthafa Mohamed Essa, Okobi Ekpo, Amadi O. Ihunwo, Vishnu Priya Veeraraghavan, Surapaneni Krishna Mohan, Arehally M. Mahalakshmi, Bipul Ray, Sunanda Tuladhar, Sulie Chang, Saravana Babu Chidambaram, Meena Kishore Sakharkar, Gilles J. Guillemin, M. Walid Qoronfleh, David M. Ojcius, “Sleep Deprivation and Neurological Disorders”, BioMed Research International, vol. 2020, Article ID 5764017, 19 pages, 2020.