While all of us have, at some point, had some trouble sleeping, insomnia is not to be taken lightly. In fact, it is linked to several diseases as well, be it Type 2 diabetes, weight lossproblems, heart disease, and pregnancy complications. There are several factors that can cause insomnia, be it stress, eating the wrong diet, excess exercise or a mental disorder. And just by having sound sleep, you can reduce your risk of chronic illness, keep your brain and digestion healthy, and boost your immune system as well.
Some of the best ways to get good sleep is to avoid eating or drinking just before bed, making the sleep environment comfortable, decreasing caffeine and alcohol intake, thinking happy thoughts and sticking to a sleep schedule.
Here are 5 effects of insomnia on your health:
A 2018 study shows a genetic link between insomnia and psychiatric disorders and metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. The researchers also identified specific genes that cause sleep problems and concluded that depression is “partially heritable”. The study was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry this week.
Sleep deprivation can causes βeta-cell dysfunction and increase inflammation and oxidative stress, which leads to worsening glycaemic control in people with diabetes, according to the International Textbook of Diabetes Mellitus.
Insomnia was also linked with a higher risk of developing heart disease over 10 years among 86,329 postmenopausal women, according to the US National Institutes of Health Women’s Health Initiative.
Insomnia can also make it tougher to lose weight. as one of the health benefits of sleep is detoxification. When you sleep, your organs undergo detoxification. Sleep also improves digestion, and helps you maintain equilibrium in the body, and a healthy body weight. The hormones that are responsible for making you fall asleep are the same ones that control appetite. So, a sleep disorder can lead to greater appetite and eventually weight gain.
Insomnia can also impact women during pregnancy and is a risk factor for high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, depression, premature birth and unplanned caesarean sections.