April 27, 2020

How Your Sleep Pattern Affects Your Health?

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Sleep Pattern

Slept the night tossing and turning in bed? Thanks to the bad night of rest, you’re most probably forcing yourself through a groggy day! Sleep pattern impacts your efficiency. Stretch that one bad night into a couple of nights a week. And, you’re dealing with a range of health implications, triggered by poor sleep patterns.

Sleep deprivation can be caused both: 

  • Consistent lack of the mandatory 7 to 9 hours of sleep, or,
  • Poor quality of sleep.

In both these cases, the body is unable to undergo the healing process. Meaning, the brain cannot forge new connections. What it essentially means is a dramatic reduction in the quality of active hours. Here is how poor sleep patterns negatively impact your health:

Impact of Sleep Pattern on Mental abilities and Emotional State

A normal sleep pattern allows pathways to be formed between nerve cells in your brain. Sleep deprivation leaves your brain exhausted. Leaving you with little or no energy/concentration to learn new things. You also tend to feel impatient and are prone to mood swings. Some of the other psychological risks of irregular sleep patterns include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Impulsive behaviour
  • Self-loathing

We don’t mean to get too extreme, but its true, years of sleeplessness can push you over the brink! 

Negative Effects of an unhealthy Sleep Pattern
Chart Showing the Negative Effects of an unhealthy Sleep Pattern

Impact on the Immune system

Sleep deprivation is also known to play havoc with your immune system leaving you vulnerable to a number of diseases caused by a range of bacteria and viruses. Long-term sleep deprivation is also known to make you prone to health conditions such as heart disease or diabetes.

Effect on the Digestive System

Disturbed sleep patterns increase the risk of obesity. You would have noticed how when you are sleep deprived you tend to overeat. This is on account of reduced production of the hormone, Leptin. This hormone tells your brain that you have had enough to eat. And, without it, there is a spike in the level of Ghrelin, an appetite stimulant. The fact that lack of sleep also makes you inactive and that you feel too tired to exercise also adds to the risk of obesity.

Impact of sleep pattern on the Endocrine system

Abnormal sleep patterns also come in the way of production of hormones such as testosterone as also growth hormones in children and adolescents thereby stunting normal growth.

Impact on Cardiovascular system

Irregular sleep cycles are known to affect a host of processes that keep your heart healthy. Blood sugar, blood pressure as well as inflammation levels are only some of the parameters impacted by the lack of sleep. Researches have also shown the impact of insomnia on an increased risk of stroke.

Ways to Correct Your Sleep Pattern

The list about seems drab, but our intention is not to scare you. You can’t emphasis the need of a good night’s sleep. Ensure that you clock the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep daily. For starters, our trackers can help you record your sleep patterns, with insights to improve the quality of your sleep. Here are some handy tips to stick to a healthy sleep schedule:

screenshot of tracking Sleep on the PLAYFIT App
Tracking Sleep on the PLAYFIT App
  • Avoid biphasic sleep; in other words, avoid or limit your daytime naps.
  • Restrict intake of caffeine especially in the latter half of the day.
  • Stick to a bedtime routine; try to sleep at the same time each night and wake up at the same time every morning.
  • Indulge in a relaxing activity an hour before sleep time. This could mean meditation, a warm bath or anything else that relaxes you.
  • Peering into gadgets before your sleep hour is a strict no-no.
  • Avoid heavy dinner; also try and have your meal at least 2 hours before bedtime.
  • Stick to an exercise regimen to aid the normal sleep pattern.

If despite following the above practices you aren’t able to sleep well, it may be prudent to speak to your physician to check for any underlying health issues. Here’s to you getting the required hours of shut-eye and sleeping your way to good health! Happy Zzzs! 

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