How Poor Sleep Impacts Health And 7 Proven Tips To Sleep Better

How Poor Sleep Impacts Health And 7 Proven Tips To Sleep Better

In the 21st century, life is faster than ever before. Jobs, deadlines and the all-pervasive technology that dominates every aspect of our lives means we have less and less time to rest. When it comes to overall health, while a lot of focus is placed on diet and exercise – and rightly so –  the value of a good night’s sleep is frequently underestimated. As Dr Prashant Makhija, Neurologist at Wockhardt Hospitals Mumbai Central, points out, “Many of us find ourselves sacrificing those precious hours of rest for work, entertainment, or other obligations. However, the impact of poor sleep on our health is undeniable and can have long-lasting consequences.”

Poor Sleep: The Ripple Effect

It is not just about feeling groggy in the morning, lack of quality can profoundly impact your overall health. Poor sleep sets off a chain reaction of negative effects from weakened immune systems to increased stress levels, says Dr Prashant Makhija. He lists the following negative impacts of poor sleep:

1. Weakened Immune System: Adequate sleep is crucial for a robust immune system. When we don’t get enough rest, our body produces fewer immune cells, making us more susceptible to illnesses.

2. Mental Health Challenges: Sleep and mental health are closely intertwined. Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to anxiety and depression, as it disrupts the balance of chemicals in our brains.

3. Weight Gain: Believe it or not, poor sleep can contribute to weight gain. It disrupts the balance of hormones that regulate hunger and can lead to overeating and cravings for unhealthy foods.

4. Impaired Cognitive Function: Your brain doesn’t perform at its best without sufficient sleep. Memory, concentration, and problem-solving skills can all suffer when sleep is neglected.

Improve Sleep Quality With THESE 7 Tips

The good news is that there are practical steps you can take to improve the quality of your sleep and, in turn, safeguard your health, says Dr Makhija. The doctor advises the following 7 steps:

1. Establish a Routine: Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends, helps regulate your body’s internal clock and improves the quality of your sleep.

2. Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment: Ensure your bedroom is conducive to sleep by keeping it cool, dark, and quiet. Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows to make your sleep haven inviting.

Also Read: In 2024, Make A Resolution To Ensure 8 Hours Of Sleep

3. Limit Screen Time Before Bed: The blue light emitted by screens can interfere with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Aim to turn off electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime.

4. Watch Your Diet: Avoid heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol close to bedtime. These can disrupt your sleep patterns and lead to restlessness during the night.

5. Get Moving: Regular exercise can contribute to better sleep. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week, but avoid intense workouts close to bedtime.

6. Mind Your Stress: Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or gentle stretching to help manage stress and prepare your body for rest.

7. Seek Professional Help If Needed: If sleep troubles persist, don’t hesitate to consult a healthcare professional. They can help identify underlying issues and recommend appropriate interventions.

“The impact of poor sleep on your health is too significant to ignore. By incorporating these simple tips into your routine, you can unlock the secrets to a better night’s sleep and, in turn, enjoy the numerous health benefits that come with it. Remember, a good night’s sleep is an investment in your overall well-being,” says Dr Makhija.

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