6 Reasons Why Good Sleep is Important for Your Health

By Kaushik Viswanathan 

November 26th, 2019

Sleep is equally, if not more, relevant to your overall health than exercising. A recent study showed that millennials get on average, 6.8 hours of sleep per night. When rounding up, this puts our sleep habits into the optimal 7-9 hours of sleep per night. However, the conflicting detail is that millennials are reporting the most stress out of any prior generation. Thus, the quality of sleep that millennials get may not demonstrate if they are getting a better outcome compared to the preceding generations.1

Throughout this blog, I want to show you that getting the optimal amount of sleep is very important in your overall health and your daily productivity.

1. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep can affect your overall mood for the entire day.

There are many reasons why you would want to get enough sleep to perform the next day efficiently. For example, if you are on a lack of sleep, you will undoubtedly be somewhat cranky the next day. You are more likely to have a higher number of adverse emotional reactions and fewer positive emotional reactions to events that occur during the following day. Studies have shown that lack of sleep can lead to a higher risk for depression (5x), anxiety, and panic disorders.2

2. Lack of sleep decreases your attention span, concentration, and problem-solving abilities for the next day.

Lack of sleep can severely affect your productivity at work the next day. Specifically, lack of sleep reduces your sharpness while problem-solving. The reaction times will increase, and you will not react as quickly to any environmental signals that are presented in front of you.3  To make sure you’re sharp at work the next day, it’s crucial you get a good night’s sleep. 

3. A good night's sleep helps keep your heart healthy!

While you sleep, your blood pressure decreases. This allows your heart to get some rest. High blood pressure can lead to a variety of problems, such as heart disease, and even stroke.4

4. Sleeping helps maintain a steady blood sugar level

During deep sleep, your blood glucose levels will drop. You want to remain in a deep sleep for enough time for your blood glucose levels to reset. If they reset, it is much easier for your body to respond to blood sugar changes throughout the day based on your diet and other factors. This can reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes! 5

5. Lack of sleep can decrease your immune system's functions

You’ve probably noticed at some point in your own experiences that a constant lack of sleep would cause your immune system to function at a lesser level. This is why we are more prone to becoming sick when we suffer from lack of sleep compared to those who sleep the optimal 7-9 hours. Lack of sleep inhibits your immune cells from efficiently identifying harmful bacteria and viruses and destroying them. 5

6. Too much sleep can lead to heart disease

Some of you may be asking why not get even more than 9 hours of sleep per night. Well, for one, it actually can be detrimental to your health if you get too much sleep. Research has found that too much sleep can lead to calcium buildup in the heart arteries and increased inflammation factors, which can lead to heart disease. The less medical defined reason is that too much sleep means that you are wasting portions of the day where you could be doing work of something beneficial to your health.6  Knowing this, it’s important to make sure you get just the right amount of sleep. Not more, not less. 

Conclusion: A Healthier Future

With all the health information on the internet nowadays, it can be hard to figure out exactly what you need to change in your life improve your overall health and wellbeing.  To help you in your journey to a healthier future, we’ve put out a free online risk assessment to help you determine what risk factors you have for several chronic diseases. It takes about 5 minutes to complete, after which you’ll be sent to your personalized report page that details your risk for the chronic diseases you’ve selected. The report page is will show you what changes you need to implement in your life to lower your risk for disease. We also understand how hard it is to change habits like diet, so we want to help you effectively incorporate healthy choices into your life. With the upcoming changes to our platform, we will engage you regularly to make sure that you are staying on track with our risk-reducing solutions, allowing you to stay disease free and improve your long-term prognosis. 

Choose a quiz, find out your risk

Answer each question honestly and to the best of your knowledge. All information will be stored confidentially and no personally identifiable information is asked during the quiz. Each quiz takes about 5 minutes.

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1. Alton, Larry. Millennial Sleeping Habits Are Changing The Modern Workplace: Here’s How. Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 7 Aug. 2017, https://www.forbes.com/sites/larryalton/2017/08/07/millennial-sleeping-habits-are-changing-the-modern-workplace-heres-how/#47d66d19359a.

2. Sleep and Mood. Sleep and Mood | Need Sleep, https://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/need-sleep/whats-in-it-for-you/mood.

3. Harvard Health Publishing. Sharpen Thinking Skills with a Better Night’s Sleep. Harvard Health, https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/sharpen-thinking-skills-with-a-better-nights-sleep.

4. How Does Sleep Affect Your Heart Health? | Features | CDC.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/features/sleep-heart-health/index.html.

5. Sleep Longer To Lower Blood Glucose Levels.  National Sleep Foundation, https://www.sleepfoundation.org/excessive-sleepiness/health-impact/sleep-longer-lower-blood-glucose-levels.

6. Oversleeping: The Effects & Health Risks of Sleeping Too Much.  Amerisleep Blog, 13 Aug. 2018, https://www.amerisleep.com/blog/oversleeping-the-health-effects/.