When it comes to having a healthy energy level, sleep is only part of the equation – but it’s a big part. Here’s how health and sleep interact to affect the way you feel during the day.
Health and Your Level of Energy
If you’re healthy and get a healthy amount of sleep, you’ll have more energy than a person with an illness or medical problems. Your body will have greater reserves to deal with impending infection or illness, so you may stay healthier in the long run if you get plenty of sleep each night.
If you’re feeling tired and run down, here are a few potential culprits:
• Hypothyroidism: If you have low thyroid function, you may not even know it. A sluggish thyroid can impact your metabolism and make your energy level take a nosedive.
• Food allergies: If you have minor food allergies or food sensitivities, your body may be working overtime to fight off what it thinks are dangerous organisms in your diet, wearing your system out slowly over time.
• Anemia: Iron deficiency can lead to oxygen deprivation in the blood, making you feel tired. You can develop anemia if you don’t have enough folate or B12 in your system, or if you’re a woman who bleeds heavily during menstruation. You can seem completely healthy and still be in the process of developing anemia.
• Sleep disorders: from sleep apnea to restless legs syndrome, a wide variety of sleep disorders can affect your ability to sleep soundly – and you may not even know it! If you’ve tried everything, your doctor says you’re healthy as a horse, and you still feel tired every day, consult a sleep specialist.
• Insomnia: If you have insomnia, getting enough sleep can be difficult. A recent study in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research found that behavioral therapies designed to promote quality “sleep hygiene” – a regular bedtime, a dark room, no TV at bedtime, etc. – can improve insomnia.
Sleep and Your Energy Level
According to the 2006 book Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation, people need about eight hours of sleep per night to function at their peak level, and getting less than that for long periods results in a groggy, wired state of mind known as chronic sleep deprivation.
An article in Harvard Magazine links long-term sleep deprivation to long-term problems with cognitive function (your ability to think) and with a higher instance of major physical symptoms. So not only can your health affect your sleep – your sleep can affect your health!
Are you tired all day? What helps your energy level?