While you sleep there are a lot of processes that happen in the body. These processes are meant to reset your body from the damage done throughout the day so that way your body can continue to be healthy and strong and exactly what you need. When you don't get enough sleep then you don't allow your body this time to make the necessary repairs.
These unattended to repairs certainly add up and can lead to other health issues like hypertension, diabetes, obesity. This is why it is so important that you get the recommended 8 hours of sleep. This article will focus on how sleep can help increase the longevity of one's life.
The effects of under sleeping
Your body needs sleep. If you are unable to find the sweet spot of sleep where you are getting just the right amount then you may end up having various health issues. The amount of sleep that you need depends on your age. Children, teenagers, and older adults all need different amounts of sleep so it is important that you are getting the right amount for your age.
It is also important to realize that the older we get the earlier we should go to sleep. If we try to fight this then we may subject ourselves to continuous nights of having less than 8 hours of sleep. This is because our bodies will want us to wake up earlier so if you are going to bed later than you may have trouble staying asleep long enough to get the recommended number of hours of sleep.
If you regularly sleep less than 7 hours, research has shown that this can have negative effects on several different systems. These systems can include cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, and nervous systems. The side effects of sleep deprivation can include obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, anxiety, depression, alcohol abuse, stroke and increased risk of developing some types of cancer. Recent research has also shown that having too little sleep can also increase the number of beta amyloid proteins in the brain which can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in older adults.
As you can see the effects of under sleeping can be profound. If your body is subject to several different diseases then there is no way you will be able to have the type of longevity as a person who does regularly get their 8 hours of sleep.
Why your body needs sleep
The point of sleep is not just for you to feel refreshed, but to allow everything in your body including cells, muscles, organs, and your brain to repair each night. Sleep also can help regulate your metabolism and how your body releases hormones. If this is out of whack due to the lack of sleep then it can increase your risk for certain health problems.
Sleep could be affecting your risk on its own. It is possible that there is an underlying issue that could be affecting your ability to get enough sleep. For example poor sleep is linked to heart disease and obesity, but it could also be that pre-existing heart disease and obesity are leading to breathing problems like sleep apnea, which is negatively affecting your sleep, and as a result your overall health and the amount of time you will be able to extend your life.
When you sleep too little it also increases your risk of being involved in potentially fatal accidents. A study showed that sleeping 6 hours a night increases your risk of having a car crash by about 33% and that 9% of all motor vehicle accidents could be attributed to people sleeping less than seven hours a night.
Health risk of sleeping too much
Sleeping too little is not the only rest, but also so is sleeping too much. Sleeping too much can be a sign of health problems as well. If you're not getting enough sleep then you may find yourself over sleeping trying to compensate for the lack of sleep beforehand.
However studies have shown that sleeping more than nine or ten hours a night has been associated with psychiatric diseases and higher BMI which can lead to obesity. Another study also showed that individuals who slept for more than nine hours a night and had a 90-minute nap during the day had an increased stroke risk of about 85%.
If you are experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness then this could be a sign that something is wrong. Excess sleepiness could be caused by poor sleep quality from certain sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, and you should seek out medical professionals to examine your sleep habits. Alcohol ingestion can also disrupt normal sleep and lead to lower quality of sleep. Sleeping too much can also be a result of depression so even if you are not experiencing the more obvious signs of depression, this could be a symptom that you would want to talk with your health provider about.
What is the right amount of sleep for longevity?
Research shows that the sweet spot for sleep duration is about seven or eight hours a night. The amount of sleep that each person needs can vary from Individual to individual. Research has also shown that using sleep medications could indicate sleeping troubles and also increases the risk for mortality by about one-third. If you are having trouble sleeping there are some things that you can do to get better sleep.
- Have a consistent bedtime and wait time even on the weekends and on vacation
- Avoid using Electronics before bed and store them overnight somewhere other than your bedroom.
- Keep your bedroom as dark as possible.
- Don't eat or drink alcohol or caffeine close to bedtime.
- Exercise regularly.
If you find that you are still having trouble sleeping then please click the orange button below to take are free online sleep test and talk to one of our sleep experts.