How Sleep Affects Physical and Mental Health
When I was younger, my father always used to tell me that sleep was the most important thing. He used to bug me about it. He used to say that my work, friends, and responsibilities could wait. That they would still be there, waiting for me in the morning.
I didn’t always believe him. For me, like many others, sleep was never the biggest priority. I would prioritize my work, social life, and even late-night entertainment over a proper good night’s rest. Sometimes, I would even see sleep as a waste of time. That it was a good 7-9 hours that I could be using to do something else.
Why Do We Sacrifice Sleep
1) Chores and Responsibilities
In today's culture, most of us live fast-paced lives. Our 9-5 jobs seem to eat up our day and fill our heads with worries. Our kids require more care and attention, especially now with so many of them dealing with online school. Our houses need cleaning, our clothes need laundering, and our food needs cooking. Before we know it, it’s already bedtime and we still have a million things left we need to do.
2) Stress and Worries
Sometimes we are too stressed and worried to sleep. Our heads are filled with work or family problems that we need to tackle and solve. Our thoughts can start swarming with insecurities and fears, and make it all that harder to sleep.
For some of us, nighttime is when our anxieties and worries hit the hardest. It’s when we reflect back on our day and analyze what we did, and what we could have done better. It’s the time when we replay conversations and review mistakes. All this worrying and overthinking can make it quite hard to get to sleep, especially if you start feeling guilty about your activity or productivity throughout the day. These thoughts can sometimes be very overwhelming, and make it hard for your brain to logoff and rest for the day.
3) Self Care and Entertainment
Other times we simply sacrifice or procrastinate sleep in order to go out with friends or enjoy a good movie. We stay up to binge a Netflix show or to get lost scrolling on social media. For many of us, nighttime is the only time we get some time to ourselves. Away from the noisy kids and the pinging emails, nighttime can be the only time when we get some peace and quiet to engage in self care. And while enjoying this quiet through self care, entertainment, and socializing is quite important, it should never be at the expense of your mental and physical health
Whether it’s work, school, kids, chores, social life, or even self-care, sleep is often seen as last in our list of priorities. It is the first thing that is compromised or sacrificed when other responsibilities call, and this can lead to some serious physical and mental health concerns for you in the future.
Why Sleep Is Important
According to the CDC, about 30% of US adults don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis.
Sleep is the main way your body recovers. It is the time your body uses to rebuild its immune system, reset its metabolism, regulate its hormones, and repair its muscles. When people neglect sleep, they disturb the body’s daily process and recovery time, which opens the gates to many possible health problems.
Sleep Deprivation and Your Circadian Rhythm
Studies show that adults who consistently get less than 7-9 hours of sleep per night fall into the habit of sleep deprivation. A consistent habit of sleep deprivation is shown to lead to a disruption in hormone production and regulation. The regulation of melatonin, the body’s main sleep hormone, can be especially disturbed for those engaging in sleep deprivation patterns. This can be particularly dangerous as an irregularity in melatonin can interrupt your body’s internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm.
A disruption of one’s circadian rhythm can eventually lead to future physical and mental health problems, like weight gain, heart disease, body temperature irregularity, stress, anxiety, and impulsivity. When one neglects sleep, they are limiting the amount of growth hormone produced, meaning that their metabolism, bone development, and muscle recovery will all suffer.
Weight Gain and Hormone Regulation
In addition, sleep deprivation disturbs your body’s regulation of the hormones ghrelin and leptin, which are in charge of controlling your body’s appetite. When one doesn’t sleep properly, they are more likely to feel excessively hungry and overeat. This appetite hormone disturbance coupled with an irregular metabolism can lead to significant weight gain and even obesity for many people.
Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar
Inadequate sleep can lead to higher blood pressure and eventual heart complications or disease, since it is during sleep that the body reduces blood pressure. Inadequate sleep can also mess up your blood sugar levels since it can affect how your body responds to insulin, the hormone that helps your body manage its glucose or sugar levels. This can cause your blood sugar to rise and can put you at higher risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.
Mental Strain and Stress
Lack of sleep can increase the production of cortisol, one of the body’s main stress hormones. High levels of cortisol in your body can have severe effects on mental health and cognitive performance. People who sacrifice their sleep can end up having troubling focusing or concentrating on tasks. They might also find it hard to unlock creativity or learn new skills.
Since sleep is essential for processing memories, many will find that their quality of work or studies will decrease, as their memory retention will tank as well. They will experience more episodes of confusion and forgetfulness as the mind hasn’t had the time or opportunity to store and retain such information adequately, as such process is done during sleep.
Mood Changes and Negative Emotions
Sleep-deprived people have also been recorded to have a harder time controlling their emotions and mood. They can find themselves experiencing more negative emotions, like anger, sadness, or even fear. These negative emotions are further stimulated by confusion, mind-fog, and fatigue, which exacerbates the symptoms. These symptoms can later impact one’s decision making and emotional coping skills, which can therefore lead to more serious mental health issues like depression and anxiety, especially in times of stress.
Such irritability, drastic mood changes, and erratic behavior can cause poor stress management, and make even the smallest problems look like the highest mountains. Sleep-deprived patients have also been reported to be less responsive to mental health treatments like medication or therapy, slowing down your body’s healing process, both mentally and physically.
And while many people are briefly aware of the importance of sleep, they remain uninformed about the short and long term health concerns that can stem from sleep deprivation. Many think that they can just condition their body to get used to less sleep, or even make up the hours later, however, this will only hurt their body. Many people will claim that they are too busy to sleep, as they have various responsibilities and obligations they feel that they need to prioritize and attend to first. But what they don’t realize is that their work efficiency and productiveness will significantly decrease due to lack of focus and fatigue.
Many people find themselves too stressed out or worried to sleep. They may feel incredibly anxious or overwhelmed by thoughts when it comes time to go to bed. This is where Dreamtime essential oil blend can help.
Natural Sleep-Enhancing Ingredients
Made from a powerful and soothing blend of sandalwood, jasmine, patchouli, ginger root, and petitgrain bigarade, the Dreamtime essential oil can guarantee to help improve your quality of sleep.
Benefits of the Blend
With a selective blend of sleep-enhancing ingredients, Dreamtime can help you:
- Relax and go to sleep faster
- Ease feelings of stress and anxiousness while promoting a calm sense of mind
- Clear your mind of anxious thoughts, find relief, and improve your quality of sleep by providing a therapeutic blend of naturally sedating properties and ingredients.
- Detox your body of toxins, improve your digestive system, and clear your emotional and physical stressors
- Encourages lucid and effective dreaming, to make your sleep more restful and rejuvenating
The 5mL essential oil blend is completely natural and does not carry the risk or harms of artificial or chemical sleep assistors. It can be:
- Diffused or mixed into a spray to use before bedtime
- Applied directly onto the skin, with no need for a carrier oil
- Massaged into your temples, behind your ears, or onto the back of your neck to ease your mind before sleep
- Added to your bedtime bath, with a mixture of sea salts and fractionated coconut oil, to soothe your body before sleep
Because getting good sleep shouldn’t be a luxury – it’s a necessity for your health!