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Are You Sleep Deprived? Here's Why It Matters

By Genevieve Cunningham

Sleep deprivation is a bigger deal than most people realize. While most people pride themselves on their ability to function on very little sleep, there really is no good side to skipping sleep. It’s damaging to your health, and in the long run, it can make you feel terrible. But how do you know when you’ve crossed the line between missing sleep and true deprivation? If you’re not getting enough rest, take a look at these signs and dangers of sleep deprivation, followed by some tips to improving your sleep.

Signs of Sleep Deprivation

Sometimes the signs of sleep deprivation are so common in your life, you don’t even notice them! If you’re sleep deprived, you may notice some of the following side effects:

  • Fatigue - Obvious, right? As it turns out, fatigue should not be a normal part of life. If you’re constantly fatigued, you probably need more sleep.

  • Inability to concentrate - A lack of focus might indicate the need for sleep. Though a little mind wandering is normal, constant lack of focus probably signals a problem.

  • Moodiness - A lack of sleep can lead to bad moods, or more specifically, to moods that swing quickly from one to another. If this is you, sleep will probably help.

Why It Matters

Besides these negative side effects, why does sleep deprivation really matter? Not getting enough sleep can actually damage your health. It can lead to weight gain, an increased risk of various diseases, a weakened immune system, and hormonal imbalances. The bottom line is that if you want to be healthy, you have to get enough rest.

How to Get More Sleep

While it’s easy to say that you should sleep, actually getting enough rest is more difficult. A few tips that might help include setting a bedtime, sticking to a wind-down routine, skipping stimulants, lowering the temperature of your room, eliminating stress, and exercising. Getting enough sleep might take some practice and experimentation, but once you find your rhythm, you’ll never want to miss sleep again.

Don’t wear a lack of sleep like a badge. Get more sleep, and be proud that you’re doing what you need to for better health. Sleep deprivation is real, and it’s a problem worth paying attention to. Use these tips to get more shut-eye, and you will probably notice your health -- both mental and physical -- improve like never before.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Glen Carbon, Ill.

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