With four in ten Australians being sleep deprived, it’s no secret that we have a population who loves to avoid sleep. Whether it be to get more work done, socialize or consume content on our phones in bed late at night, our sleep length and quality are taking a critical hit.
What many of us don’t realize is that forgoing sleep can actually harm us in more ways than just being tired. It can cause illness, increase the chances of heart problems and even leave us tired enough to be injured in a car accident.
All that said, let’s take a look below at our five top reasons you need to be prioritizing sleep and how to get better at it.
To Reduce Stress and Anxiety
To start the list, we’ll be highlighting stress and anxiety. Without adequate sleep, you’re far more likely to be experiencing higher levels of anxiety and stress, leading you to rush decisions, often be confused and generally having a poor quality of life.
We now know that lack of sleep has a direct effect on our ability to handle stress as studies have shown us that cortisol, otherwise known as the human stress hormone, is increased when we don’t sleep well. Of course, losing out on sleep significantly increases this stress hormone’s production and leaves us feeling on edge every day!
A myriad of sleep studies have also revealed those with sleep apnea or breathing issues during sleep are far more stressed, depressed and anxious than those without these issues.
Keeping that in mind, anyone who may experience sleep apnea should consult with a doctor and invest in a CPAP machine to improve their sleep! Retailers like cpap.com.au are going to be a godsend when it comes to this.
To Prevent or Reduce Diabetes Risk
Various medical research programs have shown us that sleep allows us to fight the fat, and not enough of it might usher in the progression of diabetes. Our bodies use rest as a time to deal with glucose absorption or rejection, and without proper sleep, you’ll be ruining your ability to deal with it!
In the days following poor sleep, you’re going to be more likely to experience high blood sugar and cravings for sweet, calorie-packed foods. Essentially, this creates a cycle that can leave you with diabetes.
To Improve Memory
If you often feel as though you’re always losing things or forgetting what you’re doing day to day, then you may be suffering from poor sleep quality and not even know it! You could be getting a full eight hours, though you might be waking up or failing to fall into important REM sleep.
As research shows, we consolidate memories in our sleep, and when we don’t sleep well, there’s not enough time to effectively ‘reset’ our brains.
Over time, you’ll see reduced memory function and mediocre cognitive performance which can affect more than just our job but our daily lives too. You’re more likely to look a ‘mess,’ and ultimately feel like one too.
To Reduce Risk of Illness
A key positive of a great sleep schedule is a stellar immune system that you can rely on to fight off just about every minor or major illness possible. Though throw in poor sleep, and you’ll be getting sick a whole lot more often, and you might even notice that recovering from cuts and scrapes become slower.
Aside from affecting your wellbeing and lifestyle, being sick often can increase your chances of losing your job or doing poorly at work.
To help combat this, do your best to consume as many vitamins throughout the day as possible to make up for your lack of sleep. In doing so, you might also improve your mood and ability to relax, raising your chances of a better night’s sleep.
To Improve Mood and Be Happier
Arguably the most important reason to priorities sleep is to make use of its ability to affect how you act as a person. If you’re frequently lacking sleep and always tired, you’re going to be a grumpy person whom colleagues and friends might not want to be around a whole lot.
This certainly supports the case for prioritizing sleep, since no one wants to be disliked or without friends!
And at the end of the day, all it takes is an hour of relaxation in the evening to help you wind down before bed and get a good night’s sleep — a small price to pay for a more positive outlook.