One of the things that is underestimated its to get enough sleep for your well-being. You will always hear about how much you need food, water, and air to survive. However, sleep is usually left on the wayside of these keys to survival.

Sleep deprivation has nothing but negative effects on the body. One of the biggest impacts it has is on your brain. It is necessary for your brain to rest and process each day’s events. (This is why we dream!) When your brain isn’t getting enough recovery time each day, it doesn’t function as well. As more time passes, the less efficient your brain will be. Reaction times are slower; you can’t process the things you see as quickly, your balance is compromised, thought processes become jumbled and inconsistent, and many more cognitive issues result from lack of getting a good nights rest. You can also experience crankiness and mood swings by not getting enough sleep; and in extreme cases, you can even hallucinate!

Another huge blow to your health that comes from not getting enough sleep is what happens to your immune system. When you get a good night rest, your body works on healing itself and building up all the cells that help you fight off infection and disease. Without getting enough sleep, your body doesn’t have the ability to properly defend itself from getting sick. A weakened immune system can lead to a lot of problems like higher risk of diseases, infections, and even chronic conditions like heart disease and lung illness.

Not getting enough sleep can actually cause weight gain, and even diabetes! Without a proper good nights rest, your body can’t release enough of the hormones like insulin and leptin. These help you process sugars and feel when you’ve had enough to eat. When these hormones are out of whack, you will have a heightened appetite; and you will also be at a very high risk of developing diabetes.

So what can you do to prevent all these problems and more? Get enough sleep! The average amount of sleep every adult should be getting each night is between seven and nine hours. If you find yourself struggling to get enough sleep, schedule a sleep study with your doctor so you can find out why. There are many things that can contribute to lack of a good nights rest, so make sure you pay attention to your habits and possible health issues so you can achieve a healthy sleep schedule!

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