Catch Some Z’s— How Lack of Sleep Affects Your Life

Everyone knows the importance of eating a good diet and getting plenty of exercise. However, many people don’t truly understand that to be healthy, you need to get an adequate amount of sleep. Resting your body is critical to having a holistically healthy balance. So, what happens when you don’t get enough sleep? Well, the consequences of sleep deprivation can be severe. Your physical and mental wellbeing can suffer greatly. There are several ways in which you can get caught up on your rest to live your best life.

Affects How You Function

Sleep deprivation affects how you function throughout your day. If you haven’t gotten enough rest the previous night, your morning may include intense feelings of irritability. Your body hasn’t had the chance to recharge, so you may not be able to think clearly, either. To counteract the sleepiness, many individuals reach for a cup of coffee or an energy drink. These are just quick fixes, but they come with a price. You’ll still feel tired, but the caffeine may cause you to feel jittery. Not getting enough sleep can leave you feeling drowsy on your commute to work the next day and drowsy driving is extremely risky. Your reaction time and alertness are altered from lack of sleep. When you don’t get a chance to rest your brain, everything becomes groggy and unclear. Your safety needs to come first when you’re in a moving vehicle.

Can Lead to Serious Health Problems

While an occasional lack of sleep may not be detrimental to your overall well-being, long-term sleep deprivation is harmful. It’s no wonder that chronic sleeplessness can lead to other serious health problems. In the beginning, your immune system may become compromised from not sleeping. Your body begins to have a harder time fighting off illnesses when you don’t rest properly. It becomes increasingly easy to catch colds or even the flu. If you continue to not sleep, your risk of illness increases. Studies have shown that folks who don’t sleep enough are more likely to gain weight which can eventually lead to obesity. While obesity leads to other health concerns, not sleeping can also increase your risk of diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. Cancer risk also goes up from shortened amounts of sleep. 

What Can I Do to Stay Rested?

It’s no surprise that sleep is important to staying healthy. So, what can you do to ensure you’re getting enough rest? Well, everyone functions differently, but the standard amount suggested is between seven and nine hours a night. Children and teens have been reported to need even more sleep. If you are feeling sleepy during the day, don’t be afraid to take short naps to recharge your body. Short and light sleep may be the ticket to your feeling awake during the day. Close to your bedtime, put away electronics and give yourself a time to wind down before closing your eyes. Of course, there are some illnesses, such as insomnia, that prevent patients from getting a full night of sleep. If you feel as though you’re not getting enough rest even though you’re trying, talk to your doctor about how you can improve your sleep.

If you’re not getting enough sleep, your health can seriously suffer! With both short-term and long-term effects, your health is too important to not be resting adequately. If you feel tired during the day, and you have the option, don’t be afraid to take a quick cat nap to give you an energy boost.