How Poor Quality Sleep can be Affecting your Health

The effects of a lack of sleep, such as feeling irritable and not working at your best, are well known. But did you know that a lack of sleep can also have quite serious consequences on your physical health? According to the NHS one in three of us suffers from poor sleep with stress, computers and taking work home often blamed.

Cat asleep under a duvet
Image by Kate Stone Matheson - Upsplash

But the cost of all those sleepless nights is more than just bad moods and a lack of focus because it can, and will eventually put you at risk of some serious medical conditions and could even shorten your life expectancy. Heart disease and diabetes are just a couple of health problems that can be brought on by a lack of sleep.

Most of us need around 8 hours of good-quality sleep a night to function properly although some people need more and some less. If you consistently wake up tired and spend the day wanting to have a nap, it's likely that you're not getting enough sleep.

Did you know a lack of sleep can be a cause of weight gain?
I seriously did not know this until I read it, but studies have shown that people who sleep less than 7 hours a night have a tendency to put on weight and therefore have a higher risk of becoming obese than those who get more than 7 hours.

Apparently it’s because sleep-deprived people have reduced levels of leptin (the chemical that makes you feel full) and increased levels of ghrelin which is the hunger-stimulating hormone.

What can we do to get a good night's sleep which is essential for a long and healthy life?
First up, take a look at your bed and check your pillows and mattress. Afterall an uncomfortable mattress, pillows, or both really isn’t going to get you off to a good night’s sleep.

Recently we bought a new bed along with mattress, pillows, duvet and duvet covers. I have to say ever since we’ve both been sleeping far better than we used to. But with that said we have two cats, so apart from one cat meowing to go out at silly o’clock the other is meowing to come in! No matter how hard you try you can’t sleep if there’s a cat meowing so I’m not sure what to do about it, my husband says they are ruling our lives (which is true to an extent) but we love them, so we can’t really see an answer to that problem! 

Choosing the right bed and mattress:
There are all manor of different beds out there it’s hard to choose, we found loads over at The Sleep Station; and if you need extra storage space then a divan bed in double will not only be the base for a nice comfy mattress but the double size will also help with storage problems.

Whether you go for pocket sprung, hybrid pocket, memory or pocket or a latex type of mattress (which are extremely popular these days) for a guest room, there’s still the budget option of coil sprung mattresses. It just depends on your personal choice what’s best for you.

All in all:
Take a good look at your bed and decide if it needs changing for something new if your lack of sleep is due to something else. Avoid caffeine and alcohol later in the day. Increase bright light exposure during the day and reduce blue light exposure from smartphones, tablets, computers and televisions during the evening.

Lavender is the most commonly known sleep remedies so perhaps you might want to try a nice warm bath with lavender oil just before bedtime. Turn your mobile off, think of nice things such as a holiday you may have coming up and hopefully you’ll soon be in the land of nod. Nite-nite everyone, sweet dreams, Zzzzzzz

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