UPDATED: Aug 6, 2020
Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about life insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything life insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by life insurance experts.
Sleep is essential to a person’s health and well-being. Sleep is a significant health concern and just as important as nutrition, exercise and stress management. Unfortunately, more and more people find it necessary to cut back on their sleep. Below are some of the consequences sleep deprivation can have on your health and quality of life.
Sleep and Your Brain
Your brain uses sleep to rest and rejuvenate. Scientific studies have found that the brain uses the down time of sleep to categorize the information it has learned during the day. This means those who do not get enough sleep may find themselves having more memory problems than those you do get enough. Be sure to get plenty of shut eye for a healthy brain and a sharp memory.
Sleep and Your Heart
Researchers have found that poor sleep can increase your chances of heart attack. Lack of sleep increases your blood pressure as well as the instance of atherosclerosis, or plaque build-up in your arteries. On top of that, lack of sleep increases the proteins that reflect active inflammation, which can also cause heart problems. If you want better health, especially when it comes to your heart, it is vital to consider your sleep habits.
Sleep and Weight
Your sleep patterns can also negatively impact your weight. Research has found that lack of sleep can cause hormonal changes that can result in weight gain. Lack of sleep contributes to rises in a stress hormones cortisol, leptin, and ghrelin which are thought to be linked to cravings. If you want to improve your health, increasing the amount of sleep you get can help you lose weight.
Sleep and Mood
You probably already know that lack of sleep can result in a bad mood. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you are more likely to have mood swings and even increase your chances of developing depression. Sleep can help you relax and recharge. Lack of sleep can lead to increased stress and anxiety levels, which come with their own set of health problems, including higher blood pressure and can even contribute to heart attack and stroke.
Some sleep disorders contribute to a lack of sleep and affect your health. The sleep disorder that is getting the most attention, however, is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder in which the airway is closed off during sleep. This results in small episodes of holding one’s breath throughout the night. These brief episodes are often unnoticed by the affected, and he or she wakes in the morning unsure of why they still feel tired. Sleep apnea has been linked to heart disease, obesity, hypertension and memory function problems. If you think you may have a sleeping disorder you should see a sleep specialist right away.
From the brain to the heart to everywhere in between, sleep has a very real effect on your health. So, while diet and exercise are important, don’t forget to make sure that you are getting enough sleep as well. If you feel you are not getting enough rest, try to pinpoint your sleeping problems and work out a course of treatment that can help you get better sleep, lead a healthier life and save you money on your term life insurance policy.