How insufficient sleep affect our daily life?
A healthy person needs 8 hours of sleep per night. But it varies from person to person; today many people are suffering from sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep causes mental stress, loss of appetite, and lack of concentration. It affects physical health but we usually ignore it.
Recent articles tell us that changes in heart’s function are caused just because of sleep deprivation. Healthy radiologist research on their hearts, imaged before and after working 24 hours in which they rest only three hours. Then they compared both images that revealed increase in heart strain, which can cause heart problems. Their heart rate, blood pressure, and thyroid hormones also increased. Insomnia is one of the dangerous side effects of lack of sleep.
Effects of Insomnia
This new research compels us to think about importance of healthy sleep. Insomnia not only affects our heart, but it also affects our immune and nervous system. Chronic sleep deprivation is more dangerous than occasional sleep deprivation as it can harm our body. Sleeping is as important as eating food and breathing. Maximum sleep makes a person feels healthy, and fresh. Lack of sleep leaves a bad impact on brain and if it continues our immune system becomes weak and hence we get more exposed to different diseases.
When we are sleeping our immune system produces cells and antibodies which help to protect us from foreign viruses and bacteria. Insufficient sleep weakens our immune system it increases the risk of getting ill and hence recovery takes a longer period. Even the risk of long- term diseases gets higher. Therefore, we need sufficient sleep for repairing cells and tissues, and for growth hormones that are released in children and adults during sleep, especially for those in puberty and growing children.
On the other hand, appetite stimulant, cortical and gherkin are released due to insufficient sleep. These two chemicals if combined cause obesity and weight gain. A healthy child needs enough sleep. Inadequate sleep makes skin older and eyes swollen. Higher cortical level, damages skin, and protein that keep skin smooth. Excessive sleep loss leads to dark circles, pale skin, and weakness. It makes recovery from ultraviolet (UV) exposure slower.
Hypertension also results in loss of sleep. According to Harvard medical school, elevated blood pressure is caused by losing one night sleep. Hence, sleep is a very important factor for a healthy person. Researchers came to know that a person, who took more than 14 minutes in falling asleep, will have greater risk of high blood pressure.
Other major disorders of deficient sleep are depression and anxiety; their symptoms are lack of interest, leaving a person sad and hopeless. Anxiety and depression are the most common effects of sleep deprivation, but it is curable, it can be treated by changing one’s lifestyle.
Stay away from caffeine and pills
Sometimes our food plays a vital role in our sleep disorders. For example, caffeine is a stimulant its intake before night causes sleeps disorders. The chronic causes are back pain, reflux, asthma and hyperthyroidism. Research of National Sleep Foundation 2005, reveals that those people who use more than four cups of caffeinated drinks a day are at a higher risk of insomnia symptoms than those who use zero to one cup.
In some cases sleeping pills can relax you for a short period of but, its excess can change your lifestyle for a long period of time. Sleeping pills should not be the first choice for chronic insomnia treatment. Doctors recommend sleeping pills for a short time. Adopting new habits and change in lifestyle is much better than addiction of sleeping pills.
The Excess of sleep can harm our health, but we need at least 30 minutes nap in a day before 3 pm. We should also avoid spicy food before sleep because it causes heart burn; fat-rich food should be taken at least two hours before we sleep.
Last but not the least the best way to regulate body activity is exercise.
(Written by Sadaf Riaz, a freelance journalist)