As wellness initiatives make inroads at businesses across the country, many people are undermining themselves in a very basic way. They are not getting adequate sleep. Studies continue to show that poor sleep increases the risk for a number of health issues, including obesity, sickness, concentration and memory.
Lack of proper sleep has been linked to obesity, with people that sleep eight hours having the lowest BMI. This sleep deficit can result in metabolic changes and hormonal variations. The impact of these changes can cause you to eat more and burn calories less efficiently.
Sleep is necessary for your body to adequately fight off bacteria and viruses. During sleep, your immune system recovers and produces infection fighting antibodies and cells. Long-term sleep deficits are linked to hypertension, diabetes, depression, and other chronic illnesses. Sleep is vitally important in the recovery and wellness of your cardiovascular system. People are more prone to accidents and injury when they do not get enough sleep.
Concentration, long and short-term memory, and decision-making are all impaired with lack of sleep. Emotional and cognitive functioning are diminished with sleep deprivation. The resulting loss of mindfulness leads to poor decision making, lower job performance, and an inability to learn.
All in all, sleep is a major factor tying any wellness effort together. A corporate and personal culture that values sleep will result in benefits that far outweigh any perceived gains from the extra waking hours.