Getting a good night's sleep is essential for overall wellbeing. Studies have demonstrated that inadequate sleep increases the risk of obesity, heart disease, infections, and other health issues. It also helps the brain regulate emotions and plays a vital role in physical and mental health. For children and adolescents, sleep is key to proper growth and development. Sleep has a beneficial effect on almost every major body system, from the cardiovascular system to the muscular system and the digestive system.
It repairs the body at the cellular level, corrects the damage accumulated over daily life, and strengthens key systems that help fight diseases, improve physical fitness, and look and feel healthier. During sleep, the body produces crucial hormones that help repair different parts of the body, such as skin and muscles. It also releases cytokines, proteins that help the body fight and prevent infections. A night of poor sleep has been associated with worsening impulse control the next day, which could increase a person's chances of giving in to a craving for junk food. Newborns and babies need 15 to 17 hours of sleep a night, while teenagers usually get by with eight to ten hours. People who work shifts or have inconsistent work schedules that interrupt their sleep seem to have a significantly higher risk of many types of cancer.
Evidence from brain scans suggests that when a person doesn't sleep well, the brain's reward centers are more likely to respond more strongly to unhealthy, high-calorie foods than when they rest well. Sleeping an average of between 7 and 9 hours each night has been associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality in several major studies. Some studies suggest that sleeping poorly is linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer, such as breast, prostate and thyroid cancers. Sleep also contributes to improved mood and overall health, which can contribute to a more attractive external appearance. If you're having trouble sleeping and feeling depressed, anxious, or less emotionally responsive, there are many treatments that can help you. While the exact reason isn't fully understood, researchers speculate that time spent sleeping is less stressful on the heart than time spent awake and may lower cortisol levels, which may contribute to heart problems. So why isn't your brain cooperating? Unfortunately, falling asleep and staying asleep isn't always easy.
But understanding how sleep affects overall wellness can help you make better decisions about your health.