The Connection Between Sleep Habits and Health

Humans will spend about one third of your life sleeping, and it’s a necessary part of survival. Scientists are still working to uncover all of the reasons why people need sleep, but many of its most important jobs can be observed every day:

1.) Boosting Immunity

People who run at a sleep deficit have a greater risk of developing a number of health problems including heart disease and diabetes. Being under slept boosts the body’s stress levels, which in turn can damage the immune system and leave you more vulnerable to illness.

Sleeping also gives your body more time to recovery from injury or disease. If you have an illness, getting plenty of rest is one of the most important things you can do to speed up your recovery.

2.) Pain Reduction

Sleep may actually help to reduce feelings of pain. Scientists have discovered a link between poor sleep and a reduced pain threshold, and individuals with chronic pain disorders often have an easier time managing their symptoms if they can get a good night’s sleep.

 3.) Improved Concentration

Sleep deprivation can lead to cognitive processing delays and poor decision making. It can also worsen your reflexes and put you at risk of falling asleep while driving or operating machinery. Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving.

Aside from reducing your risk of accidental injury, getting enough sleep also helps you concentrate better at work or school.

4.) Emotional Regulation

As anyone with a young child knows, lack of sleep can lead to crankiness and a difficulty managing emotions. Sleep can help to take the edge off of bad moods and improve your willpower and patience. If you find yourself growing irritable or unable to hold back in conversation, improving the quality and quantity of your sleep might help.

Despite the importance of sleep, a Gallup poll estimates that 40 percent of Americans get less sleep than they need. The reasons for this are diverse:

  • Poor sleep hygiene
  • Overexposure to artificial light
  • Long work hours
  • Lack of exercise
  • Persistent stress
  • Medical conditions like sleep apnea
  • Environmental sleep disruptions

Recognizing that you aren’t getting enough sleep is the first step toward improving your sleep habits and overall health. Identifying the reasons for your poor sleep and working to address those problems can help you to overcome the effects of sleeplessness and reclaim the many benefits of good sleep.

Contact a Physician if Your Health is Suffering From Your Sleep Habits

If you’re struggling with the effects of poor sleep or need help getting your health back on track, check-in for an appointment at Integra Urgent Care today. Our urgent care physicians can diagnose your symptoms and recommend to you if they believe that a sleep specialist is needed. Many times sleep problems can be corrected without the need to drop money on an expensive sleep doctor. We look forward to helping you.


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