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Do You Know How Sleep Deprivation Is Really Affecting You?

Have you ever heard the phrase “I’ll sleep when I’m dead?” Well, it turns out sleep is pretty important. Who would’ve known? If you think you’re just fine running on five hours of sleep and some shots of espresso, think again.

Now, you may be saying to yourself “sleep is for the weak,” but that’s where you’re wrong. According to HealthEssentials, a report from the National Sleep Foundation identified exactly how much sleep you need according to your age.

  • Older adults, 65+ years: 7 to 8 hours
  • Adults, 26 to 64 years: 7 to 9 hours
  • Young adults, 18 to 25 years: 7 to 9 hours
  •  Teenagers, 14 to 17 years: 8 to 10 hours
  • School-age children, 6 to 13 years: 9 to 11 hours
  • Preschool children, 3 to 5 years: 10 to 13 hours
  • Toddlers, 1 to 2 years: 11 to 14 hours
  • Infants, 4 to 11 months: 12 to 15 hours
  • Newborns, 0 to 3 months: 14 to 17 hours

Listed below are signs of sleep deprivation according to Healthline.

  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Frequent yawning
  • Irritability
  • Daytime fatigue

So, what exactly are the effects of sleep deprivation? Don’t doze off just yet, you’ll want to hear this.

1. You get sick.

If you aren’t getting enough sleep then your body can’t produce protective, infection-fighting substances like antibodies and cytokines. As stated by Healthline, your body uses these substances to combat foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. Thus, weakening your immune system and it may take you longer to recover from illness.

2. You gain weight.

“Sleep affects the levels of two hormones, leptin and ghrelin, which control feelings of hunger and fullness. Without enough sleep, your brain reduces leptin and raises ghrelin, which is an appetite stimulant.” as reported by Healthline. You may also feel too tired to exercise so overtime with the combination of reduced physical activity and lack of sleep, it may result in weight gain.

3. Your hormones are out of sync.

According to Healthline, “hormone production is dependent on your sleep.” This is especially a problem for children and adolescents. Note, these hormones help the body build muscle mass and repair cells and tissues, and more.

And for those who are sexually active, your sex life may take a toll. Young men may experience decreased testosterone levels, by as much as 10 to 15 percent. This can impact mood and overall health.

If you’re still not convinced then maybe you’ll reconsider once you look in the mirror and see more “fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin color, and looseness of skin.” Yup, that’s right! According to Sleep.org, “During sleep, your body delivers fluids to organs and tissues that need replenishing, while removing excess fluids from other areas. Cutting this process short is one reason sleep-deprived people often have under-the-eye bags (i.e., pockets of fluid). Skimping on sleep also increases levels of inflammation and stress hormones, which can destabilize your immune system, aggravating skin problems like acne, psoriasis, and eczema.” So if at the end of the day you can’t look at yourself in the mirror, then maybe it’s time to make a change.

We always want the best for you so if you need us to tuck you in and sing you a lullaby we will, figuratively that is. Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite!

Photo Credit: Pexels, Unsplash

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