For the short term, we tend to think of how sleep impacts health in terms of a good night’s rest. We all know that a good night’s sleep is needed for our bodies to function properly. But how exactly does sleep impact health? What are some of the connections between sleep and other physical factors?
Sleep and physiological processes go hand in hand. Sleep deprivation can have serious consequences on the body. Sleep deprivation is also a serious health issue. In fact, it has been called “the silent killer” because people who don’t get enough sleep are at much greater risk for heart disease, strokes, and diabetes. These consequences are not so easy to see in a person’s lifestyle. But what about the physiological mechanisms that drive all of this?
There are several different components that go into healthy sleep. When you are sleeping, your mind and body are both very active. You are both thinking and doing very serious physiological functions. If you aren’t sleeping well, your brain activity and your body’s responses to these changes may be sluggish. A poor night’s sleep makes it difficult to do all of your daily activities and leaves you feeling fatigued and inactive during the day.
It has been found that sleep disorders are linked to increased mortality rates. People with sleep disorders are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and depression. Poor sleep leads to increased blood pressure and increases the risk for stroke. Depression is one of the leading causes of disability from illness. If you’ve been taking medication for long periods of time, you may have developed low levels of melatonin or even insomnia, a precursor to depression.
As a society, we talk a lot about the importance of sleep, but many people are still unfamiliar with the link between sleep and health. There is a reason that the Mayo Clinic strongly recommends getting at least seven hours of good deep sleep each night. In order to get enough deep sleep, most people need to use a sleep clinic or practice the natural ways of getting deep sleep.
A sleep study conducted by a team of researchers found that listening to gentle sounds, such as pink noise, before sleeping can help promote sleep and improve sleep quality. The sounds were so soothing that participants actually slept longer than they did when they listened to white noise alone. Air quality was also improved in the participants of the sleep study, with higher levels of sleep and lower stress levels being recorded in those who participated in air quality clinics.