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The Relationship Between Sleep and Diet

The Relationship Between Sleep and DietGood health cannot be attained by the mere intake of balanced meals. Proper sleep and diet are both essential for a sound health but sleep is often one of the first things sacrificed when people feel pressed for time. With the hectic work schedules these days most people view sleep as a luxury and feel that the benefits of limiting the hours they spend asleep outweigh the costs. In this manner, people tend to overlook the potential long-term health consequences of insufficient sleep, and the impact that health problems ultimately have on their aptitude and productivity. Sleeping well may not be guarantee of good health, but it does help to maintain many vital functions. One of the most important of these functions is to provide cells and tissues with the opportunity to recover from the wear and tear of daily life. Major restorative functions of body including tissue repair, muscle growth, and protein synthesis occur almost exclusively during sleep.

Good sleep and diet help to prevent many diseases. Medical problems, such as diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, develop over long periods of time and these result from a number of factors - genetics, lack of exercise and of course poor nutrition. However, research and studies have proved that insufficient sleep is also related to these and other health problems, and is considered an important risk factor. This is why exercise, sleep and diet are all important when it comes to maintaining good health.

People with diabetes need to regulate their sleep and diet. Studies show that people who reported sleeping fewer than five hours per night had a greatly increased risk of developing or aggravating Type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, research in the field has also proved that sufficient and undisturbed sleep positively influences blood sugar control and reduces the impact of type 2 diabetes.

Cardiovascular diseases and hypertension are also related to sleep and diet. People with tendency to develop heart diseases are advised to stop or minimize the consumption of cholesterol rich foods that clog the arteries. But a study has also found that even modestly reduced sleep was associated with the risk of coronary artery calcification, a predictor of future heart attack and death due to heart disease. Therefore sleep and diet need to be taken care of, by patients of heart and vascular diseases.

Another body function that is linked with sleep and diet is immunity. Interactions between sleep and the immunity system have been well documented. Sleep deprivation does increase the levels of many inflammatory mediators, and the infections caused by this in turn impact the amount and patterns of sleep. Infections such as common cold can be resisted with proper sleep and diet rich in Vitamin C.

Those who feel that giving up on sleep can help them to be more productive should also consider the adverse impacts of inadequate sleep and diet. Not only does it leave a person feeling lethargic and worn out, potential adverse health effects as described here add up to increased health care costs and decreased productivity. Health care must therefore include caring for exercise, sleep and diet.
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