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The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation

By Alexis Mills

Practically everyone has felt the repercussion of getting a bad night's sleep. It comes with a lot of negative side effects such as a lack of focus, grogginess and moodiness. If only one night of restless sleep can immediately affect us, then it is no surprise that there are long-term consequences from a routine of lack of sleep. See below why it's so important that you get enough sleep every single night.

  • Higher levels of anxiety - Lack of sleep amplifies the brain's reactions and raises anxiety levels with it.
  • Higher levels of depression - Lack of sleep also causes a decrease in neurotransmitters that regulate your mood.
  • Impaired cognition - When you are extra sleepy, it impairs the memory and the brain's ability to think and process information.
  • Disruption of circadian and rhythm - Basically what this means is that you mess up your natural time clock, which leads to poor health of white blood cells, which leads to weakening the body's stress response.
  • Higher risk of stroke - Not getting enough sleep increases the risk of restricted blood flow to the brain, which can cause a stroke.
  • Unhealthy cravings - Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of hormones that make you feel hungry and full. But when you have a lack of sleep, it increases your feelings of hunger and decreases the feeling of being full.
  • Higher risk of diabetes - When you aren't sleeping enough, it triggers the body's stress response, which is associated with insulin resistance.
  • Higher risk of heart disease - Our blood pressure drops and is able to regulate when we are able to sleep. But if you aren't getting that needed rest, you are at a higher risk of getting heart disease.  

After reading this long list of the dangers of sleep deprivation, I hope this motivates you to make your sleep a priority. There are nearly 40 percent of adults who fall asleep during the day without meaning to at least once a month. More and more people are sacrificing their sleep and it is taking their health down with it. If we all understood the risk we took for our health and well-being when we don't get sufficient sleep, I bet we would all do whatever it takes to make it a priority. While there are millions that deal with chronic sleep disorders, this isn't always a simple solution for people. If you are one of those people, take it seriously, see a doctor and do whatever you can to fix it. Getting enough sleep every night has the power to make you feel and function like a new person.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Burnsville, Minn.

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