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How Sleep Deprivation is Ruining Your Life

By Victoria Meisinger

Let’s be straightforward. Sleep is important, there’s no doubt about it. You’ve heard your mom say it, your dad, maybe even a teacher when they woke you up in class. Although have you ever been told why? Other than the explanation that you’ll be tired and cranky without it, there are many more long-term side effects of sleep deprivation you’ve probably never heard about.

Learning and Memory

While you sleep, your brain replays the day’s events, sinking them even further into your memory bank. That is why your dreams may sync up with recent thoughts or experiences. Without this time to sort through memories, they don’t get stored properly, depleting your memory and perhaps distorting your view on what happened.

Sleep also plays a large part in concentration and creating new connections between neurons. That's why it is a lot harder to retain and learn new information after a bad night of sleep.

Sleep Debt

During the day, your brain creates a lot of waste toxins. These are produced by intense thinking and just being awake. Clearing away these toxins is a vital function for staying alive, however the only way to get rid of them is by sleeping. Your brain cells shrink when you sink, allowing more fluid to pass through the gaps between brain tissue and wash away toxins. If you don’t get a good amount of rest each night, this waste will just continue to build, leaving you with literal, tangible sleep debt. This causes fatigue and plays a key role in many brain disorders, proving that sleep deprivation can cause depression, suicidal thoughts, paranoia, and impulsive behavior. So remember to hit the hay early to take out the trash because you can’t throw it away during the day.

Obesity

Yes, sleep deficiency can put you at a higher risk for obesity. If you don’t get enough sleep at night, your body tries to compensate by finding other ways of getting energy, thus making you hungrier than usual. This can cause overeating, which then leads to gaining more weight. So if you don’t want the munchies, I’d recommend getting in a minimum of eight hours of sleep.

Needless to say, sleep is necessary for a happy and healthy life, if you don’t have time for it, make some. Your body will thank you.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in West Melbourne, Fla.

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