Chances are, you're not getting enough sleep. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, around one-third of adults in the U.S. report getting less than the recommended seven hours of sleep per night on average. And that's a problem because lack of sleep can take a toll on your health.
Here are just a few of the ways that lack of sleep can harm your health:
1. It Can Weaken Your Immune System
Think about it: your body is already working overtime just to function when you're sleep-deprived. It's not able to put all of its energy into producing infection-fighting hormones. As a result, you'll be more susceptible to picking up whatever cold or flu is going around. So make sure you're getting enough sleep if you want to stay healthy.
2. It Increases Your Risk of Heart Disease
Research has shown that sleep-deprived people are at a higher risk of heart disease. Sleep helps to reduce stress levels and lowers blood pressure: When you're not getting enough sleep, your body constantly has to work harder to keep itself going. This puts a lot of stress on your heart and can lead to high blood pressure. Over time, this can negatively impact your heart and lead to heart disease.
3. It Can Make You Gain Weight
When you don't get adequate sleep, your body makes more of the hormone ghrelin. This hormone tells your body to eat, even when you're not hungry. Plus, you're more likely to make poor food choices when tired. You're less likely to cook a healthy meal or pack a nutritious lunch when you're exhausted. So if you're trying to lose weight, lack of sleep can make it much harder to reach your goals.
4. It Can Lead to Depression
Research studies show that people who don't get enough sleep are more likely to suffer from depression. Your body produces more cortisol hormone when you don't get enough sleep. This hormone is associated with stress and can cause several mental health problems, including depression. So if you're not getting enough sleep, be sure to take steps to improve your sleep habits.
5. It Can Make You More Accident-Prone
When you're tired, you're more likely to make mistakes and have accidents. This is why it's dangerous to drive when you're drowsy. If you're so exhausted that you can't keep your eyes open, you will certainly not be able to drive well. Drowsy driving is responsible for many road accidents, so it's important to ensure you're getting enough sleep before getting behind the wheel.
Failing to get enough sleep can take a toll on your physical and mental health. But you can take steps to improve your sleep habits. If you're looking for a way to get better sleep and improve your overall health, a fitness and wellness club like Merritt Clubs is a great option.
Merritt Clubs' Wellness Program
At Merritt Clubs, we believe in a whole-person approach to health and wellness. Our team of certified Health Coaches can help you get on a healthy sleep schedule and put you on a path to make lasting changes. Our award-winning fitness classes can also help you reduce stress and improve your overall health.