How Important is Sleep to Your Health

how important is sleep

How important is sleep to our health and well-being?  I found out the hard way that good sleep is vital. In my case, overwork led to uncontrolled stress. Then, this led to poor sleep and finally a health crisis. Also, stress and poor sleep habits can lead us to introduce ‘crutches’ like over-eating, alcohol and over-medication. Of course, this merely adds to the health issues we face that are related to poor sleep.

Luckily for me, I was warned early enough by my doctor that I needed to make changes to my lifestyle. The message was very simple and clear and quite confronting. I had to learn to sleep better and reduce stress, or be prepared to die early.

This abrupt warning led me on a crusade to research and test a wide range of methods to improve my sleep habits and reduce stress.

However, before using any sleep tips it can be very useful to understand the process of sleep and why it’s important to our long term health and well-being. Then, armed with some information about the sleep process, you may be able to understand more about your own issues. That’s why I’ve written this fairly short post about the importance of sleep and why it is vital to our well-being.

how important is sleep

How Important is Sleep- #1 -The Down Side of Poor Sleep

Overall, lack of sleep directly lowers our ability to perform both physically and mentally. Left unchecked, lack of sleep can lead to a range of health problems. These problems include poor brain function which can impair our ability to communicate, create mood swings, decrease our reaction times and effect our ability to focus.

Poor sleep can also decrease our metabolism which leads to more fat being stored in our body. Also, sleep problems can lead to an increase  in our appetite and hunger. For me, food became an emotional crutch which caused over eating and weight gain.

Sleep problems can also lead to increased levels of stress hormones and  overall feelings of tiredness and lack of energy. Poor sleep can also suppress our immune system which leaves us open to a range of illnesses. Chronic sleep problems can create the risk of other major health issues including high blood pressure, mood disorders, obesity and even heart disease.

how important is sleep

How Important is Sleep- #2 – Why Sleep is Vital to Health

When we sleep our mind and body are still working and undertaking many critical repair and rejuvenation processes. Also, many of our conscious memories are converted or consolidated into our subconscious mind during sleep. Most importantly, our subconscious mind controls the release of a range of powerful hormones and brain chemicals that are vital for the repair of every cell in our body and mind.

Therefore, the ability of our body and mind to rejuvenate itself is impaired by poor sleep. It is this impairment that often shows up as increased rate of aging, increased blood pressure, decreased energy levels and other sleep related issues highlighted above.

how important is sleep

How Important is Sleep- #3 – Improving Sleep

For me, the most powerful sleep habits include creating a comfortable sleep environment, giving the mind and body time to wind down before sleep, learning to unplug from the digital world, and learning to relax deeply using powerful techniques like progressive muscle relaxation and mindfulness meditation.

Because stress and sleep problems were a big challenge for me, I have written many posts on how I improved my sleep habits. I have tried  dozens of sleep ideas and covered many of my favorites in these previous posts.

You can check out these tips and ideas in the posts below:

Calm Down Before Sleep in 5 Simple Steps

How to Go to Sleep

Can’t Sleep- 5 Proven Tips for Great Sleep

Getting No Sleep – 6 Key Factors for Great Sleep

Also you may like to look inside my book on Amazon- Go to Sleep – Powerful Solutions for Great Sleep

So, if you struggle with quality sleep, make it a priority in your life. Then, you can explore all the sleep improvement ideas in my posts above to find ideas that work for you. And finally, take action to weave these ideas into your new sleep routine.

 

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