There is no doubt that you already know how important getting enough sleep is for your health. In fact, you have probably had experiences when it comes to not getting enough sleep, maybe in the form of detrimental productivity effects and grogginess that you have had to deal with after a night where you did not get enough sleep.
While there is still a whole lot of information about sleep that scientists are still not able to understand fully, they are constantly discovering new information revealing how your individual sleep related habits are going to affect your health. Basically, the more that is discovered and learned about sleep, the more important it seems to become. Some of the most recent findings about sleep have confirmed that chronically getting a lack of sleep is much worse for your health than you may have originally thought. Here are three newly discovered facts about what happens when you get a chronic lack of sleep.
An Increased Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease, which is actually a very complex type of dementia, normally starts to develop as you age and will progressively grow worse and worse, eventually even limiting many of your cognitive functions, hindering your ability to remember, and even interferes with your ability to remember who you are. Because of all the different factors that are involved with Alzheimer’s disease that are still not fully understood, what little information that is available is extremely valuable. With that being said, it has recently been discovered that there is actually a direct correlation between Alzheimer’s disease and a lack of sleep on a regular basis. The study that was done focused on sleep disordered breathing, in this particular example sleep apnea, but this correlation may also apply to a much larger population who are constantly struggling to get an adequate amount of sleep.
More Likely to Get Type 2 Diabetes
In a recent study that was done on children, when they lost just one single hour of sleep every night, it was enough to boost their prevalence of developing risk factors for type 2 diabetes, which included blood glucose levels, as well as insulin resistance. While it has been known for quite some time that not getting enough sleep can potentially aid in becoming obese and suffering from several other health problems as well, but this particular study reveals that there may actually be a relationship between not getting enough sleep and developing diabetes. On top of that, this study also reveals that in order to suffer any kind of negative health consequences, the lack of sleep that you get does not have to be very significant. In fact, just getting one less hour of sleep each night is all that it takes to have a serious impact on you.
Behavior Where You Seek Excess Risk
One report that was put out by the University of Zurich, reported that getting a lack of sleep is also a potential trigger for an intensified amount of risk-seeking behavior. In their study, they noted that the participants who got less than the daily recommended amount of sleep on a continuous basis, which is 8 hours of sleep per night), had a higher rate for taking risks. These risks included favoring certain types of scenarios where the chance of landing a higher prize were possible to them, but also a higher risk of winning nothing at the same time. What makes this particular study a little scarier, is that none of the subjects reported any type of awareness when it came to this increased tendency. What this all means, is that if you are continuously not getting enough sleep on a daily basis, you are potentially putting yourself into a position where you will be taking more risks than normal in your everyday life. While this may not sound like that big of a deal, some of the unintended consequences can include spending more money than you should be spending, or even putting your own personal health at risk.
Ways to Help You Get More Sleep
By now, you can probably see how not getting enough sleep is able to potentially cause hazardous effects to your health. But at the same time, there is a very good chance that you are also not going to bed every night with the intention to get anything less than an entire night’s sleep on a very consistent basis. As with most of the other people out there, you are more than likely overworked and just plain have an incredibly busy schedule to keep. Also, just like everyone else, making sure that you get the minimum requirement of sleep every night is simply not that high on your priorities list.
So, what exactly are you supposed to do in order to help make some more time to get your required sleep in on a daily basis, as well as get a better night’s rest as well? Here is everything that you will need to know about improving the quality and duration of your sleep.
- Upgrade your mattress to a higher-quality one. If you are currently sleeping on a mattress that you’ve had for the past several years, there is a good chance that it is worn-out, and one of the reasons you may wake up still feeling tired every morning. While purchasing a brand-new mattress can become quite an expensive investment, you have to keep in mind that your new mattress is almost always going to be worth every penny. Once you have a mattress that is much better suited for your individual sleeping habits, you will not just be able to go to sleep much faster, but you will be able to stay asleep more consistently as well.
- Be aware of your habits. There are many different habits that can actually affect the amount of sleep that you will get, one of which is consuming a higher amount of caffeine throughout your day (as well as when you consume it as well, such as a couple of hours before you go to bed). Another habit that plays a huge role in your ability to get a good night’s sleep is going to be whether or not you are physically active during the day and workout. If you are more active throughout the day or workout consistently, you are going to get a much better night’s sleep when compared to somebody who is not very active or workout. Another popular bad habit that affects the amount and quality of sleep you get is whether or not you are staring at a screen right before bed. When you watch television, play on your phone, or fidget with your tablet right before bed, you are stimulating your brain. This means that you are going to have a much harder time falling asleep.
- Be the master of your own schedule. If you are always feeling as though you simply don’t have enough time to get the proper amount of sleep that you need, you may want to consider taking another look at your daily schedule. Unfortunately, in today’s Wester culture, there is a lot of added pressure to pack your schedule in order to seem more important and social. This means that your schedule may be packed with some daily activities that require you to do things that are not really necessary and can be delayed or downright skipped. One special trick you can use to make sure that you don’t waste any of your precious time on unnecessary tasks is to draw a line between the things you do every day on your personal time, as well as on your professional time. Once you do this, you can then weed out the tasks that are not as important and move sleep higher up on your priority list.
There is no doubting that sleep is probably even more important than you have ever realized, it is also completely within your power to change your current sleeping habits for the better. Be sure that you make a real effort to have sleep become your top priority, finding a way to schedule it into your schedule on a consistent basis. Just pretend that your sleep time is a very important meeting and work everything else in your schedule around it. Overtime, this will become the new normal and you will have helped to improve your productivity, as well as your health, not to mention lowering your risk for type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease at the same time. And if you ever have any questions in regard to your sleeping habits and how you can change them for the better, be sure that you speak with your doctor to help address any concerns. They will be able to answer all of your questions and get you started on the best possible path.