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There is no substitution for a good night’s sleep, and a person who is not getting one is at risk for a number of serious physical, mental, and emotional issues. The right pillow goes a long way toward relaxing the body and relieving stress. Sleep specialists report that providing the head, neck, and spine with the correct support keeps the airways open and helps the body to relax into the deep sleep cycles that are critical for good health. Tossing and turning does more harm than a little grogginess or discomfort.
People who get less sleep typically have increased appetite, possibly due to the hormones that regulate the appetite. A tired person will have more ghrelin in the system, which causes the feeling of hunger. At the same time, there is less leptin available to tell the body that it is full. Researchers believe that this combination directly affects weight gain in people who get less than six hours of sleep each night.
Sallow skin, dark circles, and puffy eyes are classic signs of a poor night’s sleep. The longer a person goes without rest, the more it will show on the face. This is due to the stress hormone cortisol. Too much of it breaks down the collagen, which is what gives skin its smooth, elastic quality. Cortisol also prevents the release of the human growth hormone, and this natural body chemical is responsible for repairing tissues and undoing the day’s stress on the body.
The brain does not function well without suitable amounts of rest. Functions such as attention, concentration, and problem solving are impaired, which affects the ability to learn. Deprivation also affects the way the mind interprets events, resulting in poor judgment. The sleep cycles affect memory, too, and a person who is not able to experience the deepest levels during a cycle will have trouble transferring short-term memories to long-term.
The longer a person goes without a full night’s sleep, the more likely it is that the individual will develop mental issues such as depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, these problems also contribute to the risk of insomnia. This turns into a vicious cycle for people who are unable to sleep six hours a night or more.
Eating disorders, hormone disruption, brain function, and mental problems are not even the worst issues that are often caused by the inability to get a full night’s rest. Much more serious health problems are also often attributed to long-term deprivation. Doctors point to a lack of sleep in the development of numerous heart problems. Heart disease and failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and stroke are all directly related to nighttime issues.
Good habits and routines often help a person fall asleep, but an uncomfortable pillow often prevents deep sleep. Pressure on the spine in the wrong places causes tension and pain and leads to tossing and turning. The right pillow supports the spine and keeps it straight. Specialty pillows help with good sleep posture and even provide relief for some issues such as apnea and insomnia. Sleep experts point to the choice of the correct pillow to for good quality sleep that rests and recharges the body.