Sleep deficiency and health: risk of depression, decreased immunity

Modern life leaves its mark on most people and can negatively affect health. Constant stress, poor nutrition, inactivity – all this seriously affects the body. And if you add bad sleep, chronic lack of sleep or insomnia – the problem is exacerbated. The brain works in a multitasking mode throughout the day, simultaneously controlling all processes in the body, memorizing information, generating speech. If you do not give him proper rest, there is a decrease in working capacity, headache and depression. But not only does the brain suffer from lack of sleep, the body can also decrease immunity, form excess weight or increase pressure in response to persistent sleep problems. Why sleep is so important, why do you need to sleep every day? 

A third of life is in a dream: why?

As adults, people spend on average about a third of their lives in a dream. At least this amount of sleep is recommended by experts to preserve health. And accordingly, a third of the day is 8 hours, a standard recommendation on the duration of sleep in order to get enough sleep and maintain working capacity. But does everyone know why precisely such recommendations?

Despite the fact that sleep is one of the basic, vital functions of the body, and this is what all people, as well as animals with complex nervous systems, do, there are still a veil of mystery and a lot of myths around the mechanisms and theories of sleep. Scientists are still not quite sure why people sleep (and it is a third of the day), how exactly this mechanism developed. However, many hypotheses have been put forward today to explain why sleep is so important to health and how it affects the human brain and body function.  

Brain Function: The Effect of Sleep

Although the body goes into sleep, the brain does not turn off completely or sleep. However, during sleep, its mode of operation is significantly different from daytime. The analysis and “laying out in strips” of the information received per day, self-cleaning of metabolic products and “reboot” of the system: and a change of activity is also a vacation. Therefore, without enough sleep, the brain will not be able to function normally. Lack of sleep leads to problems with concentration, performance, cognition, memory, and brain productivity. However, when a person gets enough sleep, studies show that both children and adults improve memory and problem-solving skills.

Cardiovascular risk

The effect of constant lack of sleep on the health of the heart and the state of the vessels is known. People who sleep less than 7 hours a day are at a much greater risk of heart disease (such as stroke, coronary heart disease) than those who get from 7 to 8 hours of full sleep. In addition, people suffering from insomnia, naturally have a 15-20% higher blood pressure, which increases the risk of complications.

Depression, emotionality

It is proved that insomnia and depression are related. Often, sleep problems are considered the result of depression, although many researchers tend to believe an inverse relationship. Through years of research, scientists have identified several mental health problems, including depression, which were closely associated with inadequate sleep and sleep disturbances (insomnia, waking up at night, nightmares). One example of pathologies that negatively affect overall health and mood is sleep apnea, which is associated with poor sleep. In people with this syndrome, depression is much more common than in those who sleep normally. Overall, about 90% of people with depression are also experiencing sleep quality problems, including difficulty falling asleep, night awakenings, and shallow sleep.

Some researchers report that inadequate sleep reduces the ability to recognize other people’s important emotional signals, including happiness and anger. This factor can impede social interaction with other people, leading to communication problems and social isolation.

Inflammation and immunity

Against the background of chronic lack of sleep, the immune system suffers significantly . People who systematically lack sleep or suffer from insomnia are 30% more likely to have ARVI. One of the best things you can do to boost your immune system against colds or flu is to get enough sleep. In addition, the activity of immunity is important in the suppression of inflammation, including systemic. Systemic inflammation has been shown to play a crucial role in many serious health problems, ranging from heart disease to asthma, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and diabetes. Therefore, it is important to know that poor sleep can cause signs of inflammation and cell damage. One example is the relationship between poor sleep and inflammatory bowel disease, which has been demonstrated in a number of studies published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology and in the journal Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 

Physical performance and health

Inadequate sleep can affect health by decreasing physical activity. If a person is a lot in the fresh air, is engaged in daily activities or training, he definitely needs a dream to achieve the best results. For example, in a study in a group of older women, poor sleep was associated with great difficulty in performing daily activities, walking and with a decrease in grip strength. In addition, in people with sleep deficiency, overall health suffers. People who are usually active, such as those who are actively involved in various sports, also have better speed, recovery time. But if they sleep poorly, then the results are sharply reduced. This is especially noticeable in athletes in whom violations of the regime and sleep time reduce athletic performance.

Type 2 diabetes risk

If a person after 40 years sleeps less than six hours a night, then he has an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Poor sleep generally negatively affects blood glucose levels in the general population. Due to stress due to lack of sleep, mechanisms for increasing plasma glucose are activated, which predisposes to diabetes. This negatively affects health.

In addition, the weight changes. Studies have shown that insufficient sleep is associated with a 89 and 55% chance of obesity in children and adults. One reason for this relationship seems to be related to hormones. When a person does not get enough sleep, the work of appetite hormones is disrupted. For example, ghrelin appetite stimulant levels increase, while appetite suppressant leptin levels decrease. These reactions can lead to weight gain.

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