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Let’s talk about sleep

Getting the right amount of sleep is crucial! It’s very important to overall good health, and not getting enough of it can have devastating effects on the body and brain. On average, people need 8 hours sleep a night, though this can vary.

Lack of sleep is a big problem today, and there can be many reasons for sleep deprivation, we all have busy lives, and a lot of responsibilities. But it is important to try and get adequate sleep, as prolonged lack of sleep will be detrimental to your health long term, and means your brain and body simply cannot function properly.

We all know the effects of short term sleep deprivation, as we’ve probably all experienced it from time to time. You’re irritable, you can’t focus, and you’re fatigued. While having a sleepless night, or staying up late once in a while isn’t bad for you (we all have to do it sometimes) it’s the effects of long term sleep deprivation that are the most troubling.

After several consecutive nights of poor sleep your brain will fog, your mental function is impaired, you’re prone to low mood and you will have difficulty making decisions. So if you’re doing it to get more done, it just won’t work, as you’ll be running at half speed.

If this continues over long term, you are at risk of serious health problems like heart disease and high blood pressure, a distressing picture indeed.

If losing sleep is this harmful to us, it must be a process that is fundamental to our health, but why?

It boosts our immune system – prolonged lack of sleep hinders our immune system, so you won’t be able to shake off colds, and are less able to fend off illnesses.

Sleep can help you stay slim! – Yes, you did read correctly, sleeping can help you to lose weight. It is thought that people who are deprived of sleep have less of the chemical leptin, which makes you feel full, and increased levels of ghrelin, a chemical which makes you feel hunger.

Sleep is vital for mental well being – it’s a bit of a no brainer, if a few nights of poor sleep can result in low mood, it’s kind of obvious that sustained lack of sleep can lead to depression and anxiety. These are severe mental health issues, and they can have a big impact on your ability to function, so are definitely worth avoiding.

Sleep can prevent serious illness – Studies have shown that those who get less than five hours sleep a night have a higher risk of having or developing diabetes. In addition, lack of sleep is linked to heart disease, as being sleep deprived can raise your heart rate, and increase blood pressure, which puts a strain on your heart.

As you can see, sleep is essential to a healthy life, so make sure you get your 40 winks!

February 16, 2018

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