How Sleep Can Change Your Life

When you don’t get a good night’s sleep, you likely feel run-down, groggy, irritable and distracted. Studies show that poor sleep can contribute to certain diseases, intellectual deficit, high stress and low mood. But as important as sleep is for many aspects of your health, many still don’t get as much as they need.

According to Dr. Matthew Schmitt, doctor of sleep medicine at Piedmont Healthcare in Georgia, “During a pandemic such as Covid-19, there’s a potential to induce or exacerbate many sleep issues … A lack of quality sleep not only affects how we feel during the daytime, but can also impair our immune system function, which is vital in protecting us from common viral illnesses.”

If you’re not prioritizing your sleep, the list of possible benefits of healthy sleep listed below may help you change your mind.

Lower Risk for DiseasesWoman sleeping in bed

Dr. Meir Kryger, professor of pulmonary medicine and clinical professor of nursing at Yale School of Medicine, says that “there appears to be an increased risk of deaths … and other diseases raising their ugly heads” when people get too much or too little sleep. Heart problems and diseases are commonly associated with poor sleep.

Improved Cognitive Function

Our cognitive function – or our mental ability to learn, think, reason, remember, problem solve, decision-make and pay attention ­– relies on good sleep. When you sleep, your memories are reactivated, connections between brain cells are strengthened and information is transferred from short- to long-term memory. Without enough sleep, you’re likely to become forgetful.

Helps Maintain Healthy Weight

If you’re dieting and exercising but not getting enough sleep, it may affect your weight. Two hormones are responsible for controlling the urge to eat: leptin and ghrelin. Leptin tells the body when it’s full, and ghrelin provides hunger signals. When you don’t sleep enough, leptin declines while ghrelin spikes. This can result in an increase in feelings of hunger and the urge to overeat.

For more information about healthy sleep or to schedule an appointment with a sleep expert, call Topeka ENT today!

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