It sounds obvious, that we need sleep to be healthy. But just what damage are you doing to your body when you consistently miss the mark on the recommended hours of sleep? It is not uncommon for students to pull an all-nighter studying or for new parents to miss out on some much-needed sleep. The bottom line is, you will feel much better and your overall health will improve if you get quality sleep. Whether it’s deciding to change your schedule around, or investing in a new mattress, or making the bedroom a “device-free” space, it is time to make sleep a priority!

Did you know? Scientists have gone to great lengths to fully understand sleep’s benefits. In studies of humans and other animals, they have discovered that sleep plays a critical role in immune function, metabolism, memory, learning, and other vital functions. – Harvard Medical School

There are both physical and mental side effects to sleep deprivation. You may start to experience some obvious signs of fatigue and drowsiness. Over time your body will start feeling the effects of no sleep.

Side-Effects of sleep deprivation:

  • Irritability
  • Lack of motivation & concentration
  • Anxiety/depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

As an opposite effect, there are both physical and mental benefits of consistently getting enough sleep.

What getting good sleep does for your physical well-being:

  • improves immune function
  • curb inflammation
  • improve athletic performance
  • helps your body retain a healthy weight

What getting good sleep does for your mental health:

  • improve memory & learning
  • spur creativity
  • improve grades
  • sharpen attention
  • lower stress
  • decrease risks of depression

About 1 in 5 adults fail to get enough sleep. There are many coping strategies out there including relaxation techniques, paying off sleep debt, caffeine, and other simulation control methods. These may not be long-term solutions. It is always best to speak to a physician about any concerns you have regarding your sleep and how it relates to your health.

Start making sleep a priority today and start reaping the benefits tomorrow. You will feel better and your body will function better.

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