In today’s health-conscious world we are encouraged to eat right, to exercise, to take our vitamins, and see our doctor’s regularly. But what about sleep? Who has time for that? Unfortunately, sleep is all too often overlooked. Not only is sleep important, it plays a vital role in a healthy lifestyle.
Here are five reasons why getting the appropriate amount of sleep is so important:
- Mood Have you ever dealt with a toddler who threw themselves on the ground and screamed uncontrollably because their toast was cut length-wise instead of at an angle and you immediately assumed they didn’t get enough sleep? Have you ever felt like doing the same? Turns out, there might be something to that. A lack of sleep can trigger overly-emotional responses, crying episodes, and angry outbursts. Prolonged sleep deprivation has also been associated with depression and suicidal thoughts.
- Physical Appearance Red eyes? Bags under the eyes? Breakouts? These are all tell-tale signs of sleep deprivation.
- Foggy Brain It’s often harder to focus when you haven’t gotten a good night’s rest. This can affect your memory and your ability to process and retain information. This is why students are encouraged to get an adequate amount of sleep prior to taking an important exam.
- Physical Well-Being When the body doesn’t get enough sleep, the immune system takes quite the hit. Lack of sleep makes the body more susceptible to common colds and other viruses. Sleep deprivation over an extended period of time increases the risk for a number of health problems, including Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
- Daytime Drowsiness Feeling a bit drowsy may not seem like a big deal when you’re sitting at a desk, staring at a computer screen, but it does have the potential have serious consequences if you need to get behind the wheel of a car or operate heavy machinery.