I have a grandson who is very capable of staying up for an entire night making videos or playing games online with his friends. My husband shakes his head and says it is very unhealthy. I was not sure so I decided to find out. I also wondered if lack of sleep would affect cholesterol.
I learned that research has shown chronic sleep deprivation can cause medical ailments including high blood pressure. Certain hormones change due to lack of sleep. People who are sleep deprived often make poor food choices when they are trying to stay awake. This can lead to weight gain and high cholesterol, Studies have shown that people with chronic insomnia have a three times greater chance of dying from any cause. It is very difficult to focus on anything if you are not getting enough sleep.
I found the following interesting statement on a site called drmyhill
"All living creatures have times in their cycle when they shut down their metabolic activity for healing and repair to take place. In humans we call this sleep. During the flu epidemic after the First World War, a few sufferers developed neurological damage in which they lost the ability to sleep. All were dead within two weeks – this was the first solid evidence that sleep is an absolute essential for life. Happily the body has a symptom which tells us how much sleep we need. It is called tiredness – ignore this at your peril! During sleep we heal and repair, during our waking hours we cause cell damage. If there is insufficient sleep, then the cell damage exceeds healing and repair and our health gradually ratchets downhill. Lack of sleep is a major risk factor for all degenerative conditions from heart disease to cancer and neurological disorders." So sleep deprivation has more consequences than just high cholesterol. This author further stated that "without a good night's sleep on a regular basis all other interventions are undermined."
We clearly need a good night's sleep on a daily basis so that our body can repair itself from the strains of daily living and refresh itself.
In order to have optimum health all of us need at least 7 and 1/2 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Here are some things I learned about sleep and practices to enhance going to sleep:
As I have been striving to lower my cholesterol and to eat healthy, I have realized that sleep also pays an important part in my decisions. In the past, when I was tired, I used to grab a donut and a coke for energy and go. It is easy to forget the diet and eat whatever is available when you are tired and maybe a little grouchy. It is worth the effort to eat healthy food. It is worth the effort to get enough good sleep at night to help our bodies reach and maintain the healthiest state possible.
To be able to sleep when we are tired is important. When young animals and babies are tired they sleep, and so should we.
If I missed your favorite sleep aid, let me know.
Do you have a great story about this? Share it!