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Not Sleeping Enough Is Affecting Your Body, You Need to Know How

Hitting snooze on your alarm clock in the morning and contemplating whether it’s okay to call in sick to work to avoid having to get out of bed, is something that we have all done at some point. We understand the importance of sleep, and just how terrible we feel if we haven’t had enough of it because the weekend was too adventurous or we are over-worked—seriously, needing four coffees by mid-morning is sometimes a reality—but a regular lack of sleep is bad for your health, and it can affect your body in some surprising ways.

Healthline notes that the recommended sleep we should be getting each night is between 7 to 9 hours (most of us need 8 hours, but this differs, depending on the individual). The long-term effects of depriving your body of sleep could result in weight gain and a weakened immune system, make you moody and emotional, at risk for diabetes, at risk for high blood pressure, and make you more susceptible to a number of other physical and mental health concerns. You may also look older, as chronic sleep loss can cause fine lines, dull skin, and result in dark circles under the eyes.

In addition to the serious health problems that sleep deprivation can cause, it is also dangerous. A lack of sleep will affect attention, memory, alertness, and problem-solving and judgment, making it much harder to learn. But it can also slow your reaction times, and become a public safety concern if you’re driving without enough sleep, or operating machinery—in fact, WebMD notes that sleep deprivation has been a factor in some of the biggest industrial disasters, including the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island.

But perhaps the scariest thing of all is that long-term lack of sleep could increase the risk of death. According to WebMD, British researchers examined more than 10,000 citizens over two decades, to see how sleep patterns affect mortality. The Whitehall II Study indicated that individuals who slept five hours or less per night were twice as likely to die from all causes, particularly cardiovascular disease.

To sum it all up; sleep is essential for your physical and mental health, so make sure you get enough of it!

[Image via Shutterstock]

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