Don’t Lose Sleep Over Lost Sleep
Changing sleep patterns is one of the biggest challenges people face as they get older is. Getting eight hours of quality sleep each night too often becomes a thing of the past.
Unfortunately, this kind of ongoing sleep deficit has more far-reaching consequences than what you might think.
Why Inadequate Sleep Is Unhealthy
Insufficient sleep can affect your health in several ways:
- Cognitive Issues
- Mood Issues
- Stress Response
- Sleep Disorders
- Weakened Immune Response
- Weight Gain
- Chronic Fatigue
- Diminished Sex Drive
- Digestive Issues
Have you ever wondered why you have trouble making decisions or remembering things when you haven’t gotten enough sleep?
While you’re asleep, your brain consolidates memories and organizes your thoughts from the day. If you don’t get enough sleep, these functions aren’t performed optimally. This can make thinking clearly, making decisions, and remembering important information difficult.
Long-term sleep issues have also been associated with cognitive illnesses such as dementia.
A lack of sleep causes brain chemicals like dopamine and serotonin to become imbalanced. The result can be mood swings, anxiety, depression, and irritability.
Insufficient sleep can cause your adrenal glands to release excess cortisol. If this occurs over an extended period of time, this excess cortisol can cause high blood pressure, anxiety, and weight gain. It can also further exacerbate insomnia, making for a vicious cycle.
A chronic lack of sleep can graduate to becoming a full-blown sleep disorder. In some cases, sleep disorders occur due to insufficient melatonin production, with the hormone melatonin being needed for proper regulation of sleep/wake cycles.
Your immune system uses your time asleep to recharge and repair itself. Not getting enough sleep can result in a weakened immune system and an increased susceptibility to viruses, infections, and other illnesses.
Insufficient sleep affects the hormones that regulate metabolism and appetite. An imbalance in these hormones can lead to weight gain, which can eventually lead to complications like type 2 diabetes.
Long-term sleep deficiency prevents your body from repairing and replacing worn-out cells. The result can be chronic fatigue and low energy.
Many of the other consequences associated with inadequate sleep (like mood instability, depression, anxiety, irritability, fatigue, and weight gain) can diminish libido, cause erectile dysfunction, and make orgasms more difficult to achieve.
Running short on sleep can increase your risk for developing digestive problems such as indigestion, acid reflux, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Take These Steps to Improve Your Sleep
Experts recommend 7-8 hours of sleep each night for optimal health.
Here are some tips to help you sleep more soundly:
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule. This helps your mind and body to start relaxing as the time for sleep approaches.
- Exercise regularly but avoid vigorous exercise too close to bedtime.
- Avoid napping during the day. If you have to take a nap, limit it to one REM cycle (about 45 minutes) so as to avoid upsetting your normal sleep schedule.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages for at least four hours leading up to bedtime, and limit alcohol consumption.
- Avoid bright light and exposure to screens leading up to bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom on the cool side in terms of temperature.
- Keep your bedroom as dark as possible.
- Consider adding white noise to your bedroom to block out ambient noise.
- Make sure you’re sleeping on a quality mattress that suits your unique needs. Given how much time you spend in bed and how important quality sleep is, a good mattress is worth the investment.
- Have your hormones checked. Low levels of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, growth hormone, and melatonin can prevent quality sleep. Alternatively, properly administered hormone therapy can reverse these deficiencies.
- Consider supplements that can support quality sleep (like GABA, magnesium, and taurine).
At Renew Youth, we can troubleshoot sleep challenges with personalized hormone therapy and supplement recommendations. To learn more, call us at 800-859-7511 or use our contact form to set up your free 30-minute consultation.