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Prioritizing Sleep: The Surprising Health Benefits and Why You Need to Get More Z's

health sleep
woman face down on bed sleeping

I love sleep. Love it! I shoot for 8-9 hours of sleep every night. Sleep is crucial to your overall health and well-being. A good night's sleep can boost immunity, improve memory and cognitive function, reduce stress and anxiety, and lower the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, obesity, and depression. 

Not getting enough sleep can have serious negative effects on both physical and mental health. Chronic sleep deprivation can increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. It can also weaken the immune system and make it harder for the body to fight off illness and infections. During sleep, the immune system releases cytokines, which are proteins that help fight infections, inflammation, and stress. Lack of sleep can disrupt this process, resulting in reduced cytokine production and function. In addition, sleep deprivation can lead to increased production of stress hormones like cortisol, which can further suppress immune function. Furthermore, sleep plays a crucial role in the production of white blood cells, which are key players in the body's immune response. Sleep deprivation can reduce the production of white blood cells, making it harder for the body to fight off infections and illnesses. (Source)

Finally, sleep is essential for the body to rest, repair and regenerate. During sleep, the body produces growth hormone, which plays a critical role in repairing and rebuilding damaged tissues. Lack of sleep can interfere with this process, impairing the body's ability to recover from illness or injury. 

Lack of sleep can negatively affect the liver by disrupting normal metabolic processes and increasing the risk of developing liver disease. Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and increased levels of liver enzymes, indicating liver damage. Additionally, lack of sleep can also increase the risk of obesity, which is a known risk factor for liver disease. Source

Additionally, lack of sleep can negatively impact mental health, causing symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and irritability. It can also impair judgement, reaction time, and decision-making, putting individuals at risk for accidents and injuries. In order to reap the health benefits of sleep and avoid the dangers of sleep deprivation, it is recommended to aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Establishing a regular sleep routine, creating a sleep-conducive environment, and avoiding screens and caffeine before bed can also improve the quality of sleep.

Getting adequate sleep is vital for overall health and well-being. Neglecting sleep can lead to a range of physical and mental health problems, and taking steps to prioritize and improve the quality of sleep can have significant positive impacts on health and daily life.

About the author:  Elle Russ is a #1 bestselling author, world-renowned thyroid health expert, and master coach.  

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