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Poor Sleep Will Hijack Your Health

Updated: Mar 28



Sleep matters big time. Not having enough sleep will sabotage your health and kill your focus and productivity. So many things can interfere with getting a good night's sleep, which is important for optimal health. Significant life changes, back to school, work deadlines, relationship issues, and any uncertainty that can take its toll on your sleep and overall health.


Your Immune system and sleep are closely related. Not getting enough sleep lowers your immune response. Research has shown that missing even a few hours a night on a regular basis can decrease the number of 'natural killer cells' which are responsible for fighting off invaders such as viruses and bacteria. Lack of sleep also messes with stress hormones, and stress messes with your sleep. It's another vicious cycle, that is why it is so important to unwind before going to sleep. Just one bad night of sleep can raise cortisol levels in your body the whole next day. A raised cortisol will leave you feeling super stressed and irritable. You are more likely to eat emotionally, and on top of it, cortisol encourages your body to store fat rather than use it as fuel. You are hungrier, so you eat more, weigh more, and have a harder time losing weight. Research also shows that disrupted sleep is associated with elevated blood pressure and changes to the gut microbiome.

Sadly, it's easy to get used to sleep deprivation. It is so easy that you might not recognise the signs like late-night snacking and the afternoon slump.


The good news is that it doesn't take long to see the benefits of getting a good night sleep like increased energy, joy, less craving, and even more motivation.



It is important to get good quality sleep which usually falls between about 7-9 hours per night for adults Try these tips if you are struggling to get a good night sleep

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Your body thrives on routine

  • Spend time outdoors during the day to soak up the sun

  • Take some gentle exercise every day. Regular exercise improves sleep

  • No screen time for an hour before bedtime

  • Sleep in a dark room




The Bottom Line

Poor sleep will hijack your health. Getting a good night’s sleep is very important for your health. In fact, it’s just as important as eating a balanced healthy diet and exercising. It is important that you protect and prioritize your sleep on a daily basis


 References

Stress and Sleep Disorder (2012), Han Sun K, Kim L, Shim I, Dec;21(4): 141-150. Experimental Neurobiology

Sleep and Immune Function (2012), Besedovsky L, Lange T, Born J; 463(1):121-137. PFLUGGERS ARCHIV. Pubmed Central

Gut Microbiome Diversity Is Associated with Sleep Physiology in Humans (2019); 14(10): e0222394. PLoS One. Pubmed Central

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