How Is Sleep Crucial To Your Health?25 Jan 2021
It’s a widely known fact that when we get a good night’s rest, we feel great. And when we don’t, we feel down and our health suffers. Nonetheless, many people still don’t sleep enough. In Malaysia, 9 out of 10 Malaysians are sleep deprived.
Good, quality sleep is in fact a necessity and lacking thereof will have effects on our overall well-being. It helps us function normally during the day, and is an armour against illnesses and serious diseases.
Here are some of the ways sleep affects our well-being:
Source: Big Hero 6
1. Sleep is linked to body weight
We’re all aware of the importance of eating right and exercise to maintain a healthy body weight. But are you aware that getting enough sleep is just as important?
Poor sleeping habits can lead to weight gain and increase the risk of obesity. This is caused by fluctuations in hormones that lead to poor appetite regulation. As a result, people who are sleep deprived tend to feel hungry more often and consume more calories, compared to those who are well rested.
2. Sleep enhances your concentration and productivity
These days, everyone is trying to get as many tasks done in a day to maximise productivity. Most of the time though, this leads to sleepless nights.
The longer hours we work, the more sleep we lose, making us more prone to fatigue, error, procrastination and sluggishness which can hinder our focus and creativity.
To really enhance your productivity, skipping on sleep isn’t the answer. You need to sleep more and sleep better.
3. Poor sleep is linked to higher risks of heart disease, stroke and diabetes
You may not think of protecting your heart when it comes to getting enough shut-eye. But sleep is in fact essential for cardiovascular health.
Regular lack of sleep will cause your heart rate to be constantly elevated, which will lead to increased blood pressure and higher levels of certain chemicals related to inflammation. All of this can put a strain on your heart.
Not sleeping enough is also known to lower a person’s metabolic rate and increase insulin resistance, which can cause diabetes, and in turn increases the risk for stroke and heart disease.
4. Sleep is closely linked to your mood levels
This one is something we all know firsthand. Not getting enough sleep can cause our hormones to become imbalanced, which greatly affect our state of mind. Simple tasks become more difficult to handle, which causes frustration. We feel grumpy, irritable, upset, angry, sad, depressed and other negative emotions.
5. Sleep improves and repairs your immune functions
The strength of your immune system is also closely related to how much sleep you get. If you are constantly catching every type of cold and flu bug, it’s most likely because of your bedtime habits.
Prolonged lack of sleep can disrupt your immune system, making you less able to fight off bugs, and your body may even take longer to recover from the illness.
While consistent quality sleep won’t always prevent you from falling sick, it is still your body’s first line of defense against infections and diseases, ensuring it is armed and ready.
It’s time to take sleep more seriously. Do not deprive your body of this essential component for good health and energy.
Besides boosting your well-being with better sleep habits, you should also ensure that your health is financially protected with a good medical insurance plan. Because while good health habits can reduce your health risks, illnesses can sometimes still strike when we least expect it. Take a look at the medical insurance options we provide here.