Not getting enough sleep is doing more to your health than you realise. Find out why getting your beauty sleep will help you live longer.
Sleep; we complain we don’t get enough, yet it’s also one of the first things we cut back on when we’re short on time. But getting enough sleep is just as important for your health as the types of food you eat and the amount of exercise you do. In fact, new research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found that a lack of sleep alters more than 700 genes in the body. Each gene contains the instructions for building a protein, with alterations resulting in changes to the chemistry of the body. The natural body clock becomes disrupted, while the immune system and how the body responds to damage and stress are also affected. Sleep is critical for repairing and rebuilding and when our body isn’t given the opportunity to replenish and replace new cells, this can lead to poor health.
Even if you only have one night of less than six hours sleep, this can be enough to effect behavioural and physiological functions such as memory and cognitive ability, hormone secretion such as melatonin and cortisol, glucose metabolism, immune function, core temperature and renal function. Inadequate sleep also plays a role in our ability to fight off serious health conditions, with research showing that sleep-deprived people are at higher risk of dying from heart disease. As we become more sleep deprived, our levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) rise, and we know that inflammation may play a role in heart disease. People who get seven hours of sleep a night have the best survival rate, while people who get less than six hours sleep a night have a higher mortality risk. So instead of cutting back on your beauty sleep aim to include 7-8 hour of sleep each night and live longer.
How many hours of sleep do you get each night?