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The Risks of Sleep Deprivation

By Donna Stark

Burning your candles at both ends? Keeping your nose on the grindstone? We all have days like that, don't we? Days when we exhaust ourselves from doing too many things and, as a result, may not get the sleep that is needed. So, we end up playing catch-up with our rest as soon as we can, and usually, everything is fine. But for some people, those sleepless nights turn into weeks, and those weeks turn into months; when that happens, catching up on rest ceases to exist. Sound familiar? Keep reading!

Health Risks of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation means you aren't getting the proper amount of sleep. And while that may sound pretty simple and clear, it can, unfortunately, be anything but. Sleep deprivation can stem from a variety of issues and can lead to a number of health problems. Take a look.

  • Drowsiness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Impaired memory
  • Reduced physical strength
  • Mood swings
  • Increased risk of infections and illnesses
  • Increased risk for depression
  • Increased risk for stroke. heart disease, and asthma attacks
  • Increased risk for car and work accidents

Steps to Take

It doesn't matter where your sleep issues stem from, you have to find a way to get the rest your body needs. But, where do you start? Well, the first thing you should do is visit your doctor to eliminate any possible underlying conditions that could be causing the problem. Once that is taken care of, you should take a look at your lifestyle and sleeping environment. Here are some suggestions.

  • Aim for the right number - You may be able to get by with six hours of sleep each night or you may need a full eight. Either way, it's important to go to bed and wake up at the same time every night and morning. And it's even more important to stick to that schedule, even on weekends!
  • Create a safe sleeping space - It's time to start designing the space that will benefit you most. Keep your room dark, drown out distracting noises with a white-noise machine or a fan, and maintain a cool temperature in your bedroom.
  • Turn technology off - Those last few hours of the day are crucial for letting your body and mind relax, so give your bedtime routine an overhaul. Turn your electronic devices off at least an hour before you go to bed and engage in other relaxing activities.

Get Your Sleep!

It's time to get control of your sleep! Take a close look at the things you can change and try the suggestions above. The smallest modification to your lifestyle could be all that is needed for you to get the rest your body deserves!

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

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