Why is insomnia harmful?
Sleep serves a critical role in health and well-being. Failing to get a good night’s sleep is on par with skipping meals or not drinking enough liquid. It’s a vital component not only for a healthy lifestyle, but just to function each day. Our brains use up 25% of our bodies’ energy, despite only being 3% of our body weight. It needs rest to restore that used energy, and it uses sleep to get it. For this to happen, a typical adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Insomniacs typically get less than five or six hours.
Sleep isn’t just a time to rest our minds - our bodies need it, too. A stressful, restless sleep can also bring about problems like teeth grinding and sleepwalking. A lack of sleep can cause a bunch of health issues, such as higher blood sugar levels, liver problems, weight gain and severe depression. Chronic insomnia can increase the likelihood of some serious diseases and illnesses, too, including:
- Heart attack
- Exaggerated pain perception
- Shortened life span