It is proven that getting a good night sleep can keep you mind and body healthy. A sleep-deprived brain is unable to absorb, process and remember new information. Getting more than seven hours of sleep each night improves memory, performance and makes people healthier and more alert. Insufficient sleep has been linked to hypertension, heart problems, diabetes, depression and obesity.
Physiologic studies suggest that a sleep deficit may put the body into a state of high alert, increasing the production of stress hormones and driving up blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. People who are sleep-deprived have elevated levels of substances in the blood that indicate a heightened state of inflammation in the body which is also a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke and cancer. Other studies have found that sleep influences the functioning of the lining inside blood vessels, which could explain why people are most prone to heart attacks and strokes during early morning hours.
The newest study on obesity, from Columbia University, is just the latest to find that adults who sleep the least appear to be the most likely to gain weight and to become obese. Researchers have also found that even mild sleep deprivation quickly disrupts normal levels of hormones which regulate appetite. It’s not that if you sleep, you will lose weight, but if you are sleep-deprived, your metabolism will not function properly.
To get a better night sleep, always avoid caffeine in the afternoon. Exercise also helps improve sleep quality. Watch what you eat before bed time. Avoid big or rich meals. This can increase risk of heartburn and keep you up at night. If the problem persists, see your physician for a possible sleep study.