How Is Sleep Related to Both Mental and Physical Well-Being?

Why sleep matters to your health.

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Both your psychological and physical well-being suffer when your sleep suffers. A good night's sleep is important to daily functioning; sleep deprivation makes us irritable, and sleep deprivation certainly can interfere with our performance at work and school. In fact, a sleep disorder can serve as a trigger for mood disorders, particularly depression. And it's a nasty two-way street: Being stressed or anxious or depressed can make it difficult to fall asleep, cause you to wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to get back to sleep, or cause you to awaken an hour or more before you are supposed to get up.

Meanwhile, there's good evidence that chronic insomnia can provoke a number of negative immune changes. In particular, some of the newer studies suggest that chronic sleep deprivation boosts inflammation, which is linked with a series of age-related diseases, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, periodontal disease, and frailty, as well as functional decline.

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