The next time you prioritize wakefulness over a few precious hours of sleep, you may want to consider the hidden costs. After all, sleep is precious. Numerous studies have found that insufficient sleep can increase an individual's risk of developing serious medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Lack of sleep over an extended period of time has also been connected to a shortened lifespan. Keep reading today's blog post to learn more about the vital role sleep plays in regulating your health over time.
The costs of insufficient sleep
Sleep is often one of the first things to go when people feel pressed for time. Remember that time you woke up early or went to bed late to finish some work?
If you can recall an instance like this, you are not alone. In fact, many view sleep as a luxury and think that the benefits of limiting the hours they spend asleep outweigh the costs to their health.
While this perspective is common, it can be misinformed. When choosing to forgo sleep, many people often overlook the potential long-term health consequences of insufficient sleep, and the impact that health problems can ultimately have on one's time and productivity.
Sleep as a risk factor
Many of the costs of poor sleep can go unnoticed. For example, medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease can develop over long periods of time and result from a number of factors, such as genetics, poor nutrition, and lack of exercise. Another notable risk factor that has been connected to these medical conditions is insufficient sleep.
In fact, sleeping fewer than eight hours per night on a regular basis has been linked to an increase risk of developing one of the aforementioned medical conditions.
In addition, lack of sleep can significantly weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to viruses such as the common cold.
Unsurprisingly, these potential adverse medical conditions can add up to increased health care costs and decreased overall productivity. And of course, more importantly, insufficient sleep can ultimately lessen life expectancy and adversely affect day-to-day well-being.
Sleep is so important than many medical experts have concluded that high-quality sleep is just as vital to our health and well-being as nutrition and exercise.
Sleep well to stay healthy
While sleeping well is not an absolute guarantee of perfect health, it does maintain many vital functions in our bodies. For example, when we sleep, our bodies are allowed the opportunity to recover from the previous day. During this time, important restorative functions in the body such as tissue repair, muscle growth, and protein synthesis can occur.
To stay healthy and let your body recover from the wear and tear of daily life, aim at getting around 8 hours of sleep per night.
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