Inadequate sleep can have a negative impact on many aspects of your life. It may lead to weight gain, decrease concentration, or reduce sex drive. It can also increase risk of certain diseases such as cancer, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease.
One in three adults in the United States gets inadequate sleep according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Why individuals aren’t getting enough sleep
Factors influencing sleep may vary per person. Overall, lifestyle changes has impacted our ability and time to obtain adequate sleep. For one, Americans on average work more, and sleep less, now. Hours may be straining and therefore spills over into other areas of our life, like sleeping habits. Total screen time, including TV and phones, oftentimes puts us to bed later or results in difficulty in falling asleep. While there are plenty more reasons out there, it’s important to note that you’re in your own control of your sleep quality and quantity.
We’ll discuss why sleep is so important – the negative effects it has on our body and lives when we don’t!
Inadequate sleep can decrease our body’s ability to fight off diseases. Research shows that immunity and sleep are strongly connected. Therefore, inadequate sleep may result in increased illness like flu, the everyday cold, or other diseases.
Your sleeping habits also impact overall heart health. Research shows that adults who sleep less than 7 hours each night are more likely have heart issues including strokes and heart attacks. Inadequate sleep can also result in increased blood pressure and cholesterol, both of which also have an influence on heart health.
A lack of sleep can also increase risk of certain cancers like breast cancer, colorectal cancer, or prostate cancer. This can be due to our decreased ability to fight off infection (see immunity section).
Concentration and Productivity
When we don’t get enough sleep, our work may also be affected. Think about any time you haven’t sleep well. We’re more likely to be sluggish and not be as energized for our workload. This can have a negative impact on our workload.
Similar to concentration and productivity, a feeling of sluggishness and fatigue may make us more irritable. Irritability often leads to a short fuse and can cause frustration with others. Mood changes can also be shown by depression or anxiety.
Not getting adequate sleep can also reduce sex drive. Insufficient sleep may result in less dire for sex, inadequate performance during sex, or irritability with one’s partner.
How much sleep is recommended
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that adults (those over 18 years of age,) obtain at least 7 hours of sleep each night. After reading this article, we challenge you to reflect on how much sleep you’re getting on average. Are you getting adequate amounts? Are you suffering during the week and sleeping well on the weekends? Do you constantly feel like you have no energy and can’t complete everyday tasks?
To increase your sleep, we have a few recommendations. To start, minimize your screen time before bed. Aim for at least 30 min of no screen time before going to bed so you and your mind are at rest and are able to adequately wind down. Instead of screen time, try listening to a podcast, stretching, or reading. Get yourself into a sleeping routine, whatever it may be.
Where does Pure Plates come in?
Pure Plates has a role in much more than food. We help to take away the stress of cooking and healthy meal preparation so that you can focus on other areas of your health, like sleep!
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