By Christina Snider – Staff Writer
When you don’t get enough sleep, you end up feeling grumpy, unfocused and hungry. However, not sleeping enough can affect a lot more than just your mood. It can also cause your health to deteriorate. You might not realize it, but not getting enough sleep can increase your risk of high blood pressure, depression, stroke, heart attack, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Beyond all of the health issues mentioned previously, sleep deprivation can also cause your overall productivity and quality of living to decline. Some individuals have even passed away because they didn’t get enough sleep.
Another thing to consider is that when you don’t get enough sleep, you are more prone to any number of different accidents. Industrial disasters, automobile accidents, occupational errors and medical errors can all occur just because you didn’t take the time to get enough sleep. Continually losing sleep can cause you to lose brain cells and sustain irreversible damage. Not exactly what you thought when you didn’t get enough sleep the other night was it?
Don’t Ignore the Power of a Good Night’s Rest
Many people often think they can just catch up on their sleep, but that isn’t the case. You have to think about sleep as one of the three main components to your overall health and well-being. Sleep, exercise and nutrition are what it takes to sustain your health and feel amazing. If you don’t get enough sleep, you are going to have a hard time losing weight. The same applies to how you eat. When you are tired, you don’t often care about what you are putting in your body. Beyond not eating right, you probably won’t have the energy to exercise.
How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?
While everyone needs a different amount of sleep, adults should aim for about seven to nine hours at night to attain optimal health, alertness and productivity. For many people, getting that much sleep is far more difficult than what you might think. It might surprise you that 70 million Americans are suffering from some type of sleep problem or another. Sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy and restless leg syndrome are attributed to a number of different mental illnesses and diseases.
For the most part, those who don’t get enough sleep tend to have schedules that interfere with the natural sleep cycles of the body. High school students and shift workers that have to wake up early in the morning tend to struggle with sleep deprivation because their bodies are set on waking up later in the day.
For some individuals, they struggle with insomnia. Others have sleep apnea that is identified by trouble breathing and interruptions in their sleep patterns. Some people just don’t care about sleep. In some cultures, pulling an all-nighter actually makes the individual a legend. Is it worth it to deprive yourself of sleep just for the sake of being a legend?
Instead of making yourself sick, you need to make sleep a priority. Sleep works wonders to eliminate all of the waste products from your system and rejuvenate your brain. By eliminating the waste, you won’t feel as bogged down. Not getting enough sleep can cause your brain to suffer. Don’t skimp on sleep; you can’t ever get it back. Sleep isn’t just important for your brain, it is also important for all of the other organs in your body. If your lifestyle doesn’t allow you to get enough sleep, you need to make some changes right away.