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Sleep Well, Live Well: Exploring the Vital Connection Between Quality Sleep and Overall Wellness

Written By: Kent Hospital Staff on September 27, 2023

Sleep is often overlooked as one of the most essential parts of your health. The quality of your sleep plays a vital role in helping to maintain your mental, physical, and emotional health. There is a substantial link that is associated between wellness and sleep.

Sleep allows the body and brain to recover during the night. Here is a deep exploration of the vital connection between your sleep quality and overall wellness.

What Happens When You Sleep?
Multiple biological processes occur while you sleep. Some of the things that happen include the following:
  • The brain stores new information and rids waste.
  • The body slows down and goes into recovery mode.
  • Your immune system is strengthened.
  • Hormones are balanced.

Your body and mind go through a period of regeneration and repair while you sleep. Hormones produced to help with balancing include those responsible for your metabolism, appetite, and stress management. 

Physical Activity and Sleep
You may experience symptoms of vagus nerve dysfunction, which is a nerve that stimulates the heart muscles to slow down while resting. Your body’s necessary processes are disrupted and affect your cognitive abilities, thinking concentration, and physical skills, such as energy levels and mood.

Promoting healthy brain activity isn’t the only benefit of good, quality sleep. Sleep is essential for growth and proper development for younger children and teenagers. Lacking quality sleep means your body has less time to recover and repair, which can lower the body’s defenses against medical problems and diseases.
Quality Sleep Impacts Your Physical Health
Suffering from sleep deprivation can have a direct impact on your physical health. These include: 
  • Heart problems: When you don’t get enough sleep, you’re more likely to develop high blood pressure since the blood pressure is reduced when you sleep. It can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.
  • Obesity: Sleep deprivation is associated with growth hormone deficiency and elevated cortisol levels, which are linked to obesity. Your body regulates the hormone ghrelin, which makes you feel hungry; the other hormone, leptin, helps you feel full (which can help with weight loss). Lack of sleep makes ghrelin levels rise and leptin levels go down, making you feel hungry and overeat.
  • Brain Functionality: During the sleep cycle your body’s ability to recall and process memories, creativity, and learning. When you don’t get enough sleep, paying attention and being alert become difficult, and you can easily make mistakes or miss things.
  • Mood and Emotion-coping: These mechanisms can suffer without quality sleep; people find it more challenging to control emotions, make decisions, and may deal with more mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

Young children and teenagers who get quality sleep ensure their release of hormones is balanced. These hormones contribute to growth, increased muscle mass, puberty, fertility, and repairing cells. You may notice when children don’t get enough sleep, they struggle with school, don’t engage with others positively, and tend to be more angry or sad.

How Much Sleep Do You Need?
Sleep amounts can vary depending on your age:
  • Infants: Need as much as 17 hours of sleep daily
  • Teenagers: May only require 8-10 hours.
  • Adults (18 or older): 7-9 hours per night is a good amount of quality sleep.
  • Seniors (over 65): 7-8 hours total is enough.

If you want to ensure you’re getting the right amount of quality sleep for your physical health, here are some beneficial tips to live by:

  • Prioritize your sleep - It’s one of those things you must fit into a busy routine, but you should forego social activities and events if you aren’t getting enough rest.
  • Sleep schedule - It’s helpful if you can go to bed and wake up around the same time every day, including on weekends or when you travel. Consistent sleep schedules ensure you get to bed on time and have adequate sleep to stay healthy and active.
  • Set the mood - When you go to bed, you should take some measures in the bedroom to ensure restful sleep. Consider blocking out light by using blackout or thick curtains. Turning off screens early can help put your mind in a relaxing place. Keep the temperature cooler to get ideal rest.
Staying Healthy to Improve Your Sleep
Your health plays a crucial part in your sleep cycle. Getting exercise and staying physically healthy, along with good nutrition, can help improve your sleep quality. Consider refraining from caffeine or alcohol near bedtime hours, and ensure you eat your last meal with time to digest before heading to bed. 

Exercising right before bed is not a good idea because it can increase your heart rate and get your blood pumping. It becomes challenging to rest and relax, so exercise earlier or first thing in the morning.
Consult a Professional
If you’re concerned about your sleep quality or how it may affect your health, be sure to make an appointment with your doctor or a medical professional. Experts in the field of sleep can help you make simple changes that impact your sleep health and ensure you’re not suffering from any disorders, so you can prioritize your health to sleep and live well. 

To learn more about The Sleep Lab at Kent Hospital visit:

Disclaimer: The content in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only and should not serve as medical advice, consultation, or diagnosis.  If you have a medical concern, please consult your healthcare provider, or seek immediate medical treatment.