How does poor sleep affect our health?

Recent studies indicate that a third of Brits sleep for just five to six hours a night, which is significantly less than the general recommendation of seven to eight hours. Also, many people assume that as their pace of life slows down after retirement, we need less sleep. However, research suggests that our bodies need a constant amount of sleep throughout their adult lives.



Poor sleep can lead to weight gain

Sleep deprivation has been shown to trigger weight gain, in addition to genetics and diet, as our bodies use leptin to regulate metabolism, appetite, and calorie intake. When you are sleep deprived, your body doesn’t produce enough leptin, causing your brain to believe that you dont have enough energy. You tell yourself youre hungry and consume more calories than you need to fuel your body in the future. This process can be especially challenging for older people who are less active because they find it more difficult to combat any weight gain that occurs as their metabolism slows.

Poor sleep can be bad for the immune system

When we age our immune system becomes increasingly vulnerable to common coldsLack of sleep adds another dimension to further weaken the immune systems ability to fight viruses, since fewer antibodies are released when we donsleep enough. A recent study found that those who sleep for less than five hours a night are 4.5 times more likely to get ill compared those who got more than seven hours.

38,836 Chronic Illness Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

A lack of sleep increases the risk of serious illness

Interestingly, long-term sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased heart rate, higher blood pressure, and worsened blood sugar metabolism, which can lead to type 2 diabetes.



Mental wellbeing can be affected by poor sleep.

Sleep deprivation normally results in irritability, moodiness, and anxietyItno surprise that chronic sleep deprivation may lead to mental health issues like anxiety or depression.

96,472 Mental Health Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from Dreamstime

Obviously, we all need good nights sleep for various reasons. However, iteven more crucial as we age and our bodydefenses and capacity to function on little energy fall.