A lack of sleep is one of the most significant lifestyle factors that determines your risk of Alzheimer’s, cancer, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, and depression……..
The brain has its own waste removal system which is similar to the body’s lymphatic system called the glymphatic system.
When we fall into a deep sleep, the hippocampus part of the brain will shrink by 200%. This leaves room for cerebral spinal fluid to wash beta-amyloid (one of the 2 proteins linked to Alzheimer’s) out of the brain; basically cleaning all the waste out from the brain.
Each night if you are not getting enough sleep the waste product (beta-amyloid) accumulates leading over time the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Sleep deprivation can reduce your natural cancer killer cells by 70%. These cells are responsible for identifying and destroying malignant cancer cells throughout the body. This is why the World Health Organisation has classified nightshift as a probable carcinogen.
When entering into the early stages of sleep our brain neurons are still buzzing from the day’s activities.
If you can imagine the similarity of the pre-game noise at a soccer match when everyone is talking to the person next to them. It creates a disjointed buzz around the ground. When we enter into a deep sleep (N-REM) our neurons start to synchronise and communicate with each other. Imagine the 90,000 soccer crowd synchronising and singing during the match.
During this communication period, the brain starts storing the day’s information, like hitting the save button on your memories, its storing knowledge.
Sleep deprivation is one of the quickest ways to make our physical and mental health decline. In many cases, it leads to depression, anxiety, suicidally. This is one of the reasons it has been used as torture throughout history.
Deep sleep is probably the best form of blood pressure medication you can get.
If you sleep well you will eat well. Depriving yourself of sleep will increase the hunger hormone grenlin and decrease the full hormone leptin. This makes us crave sugary carbohydrates. We become hyperinsulinism and start holding onto body fat. Strength, stamina, and motivation to exercise all decline with a lack of sleep.
Summing up the major health problems due to lack of sleep:
- Increases risk of Alzheimer’s
- Affects your immune system
- Impairs your learning and memory
- Increases risk of cardiovascular disease
- Increases risk of cancer
- Contributes to depression and anxiety
- It can lead to insulin resistance and weight gain.
Preparing yourself for sleep.
- Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every night
- Don’t eat 3hrs before bedtime
- Keep off electronic devices 1hr before bedtime
- Keep all electronic devices out of room
- Try to make your room as dark as possible.
- If awake in the middle of the night get up and read in another room until sleepy.