Sleep Deprivation: The Wake Up Call We All Need
We prioritize a lot of things on a day to day basis. From work, diet, family, appointments, travel, social events, children, the list can go on and on. In other words, life doesn’t leave much room for one of the most forgotten priorities of them all. SLEEP!
In a 2018 peer-reviewed journal, The Extraordinary Importance of Sleep, writer Susan L. Worley discusses the threatening impact poor sleep has on human health. Worley notes, “…no matter how hectic our lives may be, we can no longer afford to ignore what research is telling us about the importance of sleep for our safety and mental and physical well-being.” Since 2005, research and studies have nearly tripled with findings supporting and strengthening the relationships between sleep deprivation’s effect on our:
- Hormone regulation
- Gene expression
- Type-2 diabetes
- Impaired immune functioning
- Cardiovascular disease
- Mood disorders
If that list isn’t bad enough, research findings support that regular disruption or deprivation in our rest can create a sleep deficit that negatively affects cognitive function. This means poor mental performance, memory, thought process and speed, and accuracy in recollection and thinking.
In addition to our brain health, sleep deprivation can also take a toll on our psychological well-being. This can cause a heightened state of emotional and psychosocial interpretation. In other words, you can expect to experience exacerbated stress levels and changes in overall mood.
FUN FACT: Did you know poor sleep habits can affect emotional memory? Deprivation or disruption during rest can lead to a tendency to select and recall negative memories.
So, maybe the doctor is right. Getting a proper 8-9 hours really is essential for a healthy and thriving lifestyle, and maybe shifting our priorities to support better night time habits isn’t a bad idea after all.
Aubree “Aubs” Shofner
Fitness & Nutrition Professional