How Better Sleep Can Lead to Better Health

  • Feb - 01 - 2022
  • Elixair Medical

Hands holding up Most Americans today are severely sleep deprived, but too few people recognize how that lack of sleep can impact your overall health. The effects extend beyond simply feeling groggy (and perhaps a bit grumpy). Insufficient sleep can have widespread effects on all of your body’s systems and lead to poor health. Keep reading to learn how getting a better night’s sleep can lead to better overall health.

Better Heart Health

Sleeping steadily brings down your blood pressure, relieving exertion on your heart and blood vessels from a day of activity. The fewer hours you get, the less of a break your circulatory system gets each night, and the longer your blood pressure stays up during a 24-hour cycle. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease, including a higher risk of heart attacks. That’s a serious consequence for pulling too many all-nighters.

Better Blood Sugar Levels

Your blood pressure isn’t the only thing that drops as you sleep; during the slow-wave portion of your sleep cycle, the glucose in your blood also declines. If you’re not spending enough time in this deep sleep stage, you’re not giving your body enough time to reset your glucose levels. This makes it harder for your body to respond to your cells’ needs and blood sugar levels during the day. In the long term, that can put you at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Better Immune Response

As we continue facing down the reality of a global pandemic, it’s absolutely essential that you do all you can to strengthen and support your immune system—and that includes getting a full night’s sleep. Just like you, your immune cells become sluggish when you don’t get enough rest. They won’t identify and attack harmful bacteria and viruses in your body as quickly, and this makes it more likely that you’ll get sick. Getting in all your Zs helps ensure your immune system can react quickly to an infection and keep you healthy.

 Better Weight Control

Obesity can bring on its own long list of potential health complications. Maintaining a healthy weight is essential to good overall health, and getting a good night’s rest makes it easier to maintain your weight. This might sound counterintuitive—after all, how can lying in bed and sleeping for longer help you lose weight?—but it’s due to the way sleep deprivation impacts different hormones in your brain. When you don’t get enough sleep, your brain’s hormone production become imbalanced. This includes the production of leptin and ghrelin, the hormones that control appetite. The more tired you are, the hungrier you’ll feel. Plus, you’ll be a lot less motivated to get up, move, and exercise. It’s all a recipe for rising weight.

Better Mood

You might not think of mood as a part of your overall health, but your mental wellbeing is just as important as your physical wellbeing, and can have cascading effects on the rest of your body. As we already mentioned, lack of sleep impacts your brain’s hormone production. Consistent lack of sleep puts you at a higher risk of developing mood disorders like anxiety and depression. A good night’s rest balances your hormones and helps your brain process and react to different situations appropriately. That improved mood can give you a more positive outlook on life and just help to improve your wellbeing as a whole.

Addressing Conditions Impacting Your Sleep

If you’re sleep deprived simply from overbooking your schedule, we strongly encourage you to reassess your priorities and do everything you can to get a full 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. However, it’s important to acknowledge that many people have health conditions that affect their ability to get a restful night’s sleep. This could be a mental condition like insomnia that requires medication, or a physical condition like sleep apnea, which requires the intervention of a CPAP or BiPAP.

If you have a health condition that impacts your sleep, it’s important to address these issues before you can address your sleep troubles. At Elixair Medical, we provide our clients with high-quality CPAPs and BiPAPs, as well as the masks and supplies needed to wear it comfortably and sleep well throughout the night. If your doctor has prescribed one of these machines to help with your sleep issues, call or stop by today. We’ll help you find a machine and a mask that allows you to sleep well, so you can enjoy better overall health.