It’s estimated that between 50 and 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder.
Sleep and health are directly linked, so if you’re not sleeping properly, you’ll notice it physically and mentally. You must make sure you get enough sleep so that you can function properly during the day.
Keep reading to learn more about how sleep impacts your health.
How Much Sleep Do I Need?
This varies depending on age, but 7 hours or more is an ideal amount of sleep for most adults. While the majority of adults get this much, many others don’t.
A lack of sleep typically isn’t a significant issue if it’s occasional. However, if you’re consistently missing out on sleep, it can take a sizable toll.
How Sleep Impacts Your Health
Physical health and sleep are directly connected—this is true for both the quantity and quality of sleep. A lack of proper sleep can cause one of the most common issues high blood pressure. Sleep helps lower your blood pressure, so it will stay higher longer if you’re not getting enough.
Type 2 diabetes can occur with too much sugar in your blood. Getting a good amount of sleep helps with blood sugar control, reducing this risk.
Obesity is another problem that can come from a lack of sleep. It may affect the part of the brain that controls hunger, and this issue can be more prevalent in children and teens as they generally need more sleep.
What Sleep Conditions Could Affect Me?
Specific sleep conditions can develop with time when someone doesn’t get enough sleep. These can be long-term issues, and ensuring you’re sleeping well is one of the best ways to avoid them. When having trouble, monitoring your sleep can give you insight into the issue.
This breathing issue can occur if your airways are blocked while sleeping—often due to obesity or heart failure. It can cause you to stop breathing for short periods, reducing the oxygen you get while sleeping. This may lead to severe issues such as heart attacks and strokes.
Insomnia is a condition that can make it hard for people to fall asleep, stay asleep, or sometimes both. This is also connected to heart disease and high blood pressure. It can lead to further problems like higher stress levels and reduced motivation.
How to Get Better Sleep
There are certain things you can do to improve your sleep. This includes things like:
- Maintaining a regular sleeping pattern
- Getting more natural night during the day
- Being physically active
- Avoiding artificial light
- Avoiding food and drink shortly before going to bed
Making an effort to do these things can improve the quality and consistency of your sleep. This will help you avoid other health-related issues that are linked to sleep.
How Northwest Regional Health Can Help
Knowing how sleep impacts your health can help you ensure you get a good amount. Doing so will help you avoid various issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes.
Northwest Regional Health has over 70 years of experience in healthcare throughout Northwest Alabama. If you’re having trouble sleeping or have any other health concerns, we can help.