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Consequences of Poor Sleep

Sleep: Necessity, Not Luxury

Sleep is a necessity as critical to life as breath, and it affects every aspect of your life — from your productivity to your health to your mood. While most of us assume that sleep hours cut into our productive hours, we’re actually more productive when we get sufficient sleep! So while it may seem counterintuitive, your production will increase because you’ll have more energy and be able to think more clearly while working smarter and more efficiently.

Most people can feel the consequences of insufficient sleep:

  • Irritability
  • Exhaustion
  • Easily distracted
  • Making unsound decisions

However, there are other consequences of poor sleep that aren’t always as obvious. For example, sleep deprivation can negatively affect your immune system.

Research also suggests that sleep deprivation may lead to:

  • Weight gain
  • High blood pressure
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Bone loss
  • Depression

Sleep deprivation also can impair:

  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Alertness
  • Concentration
  • Judgment
  • Problem solving
  • Reasoning

But these are only a few of the health issues sleep deprivation creates. According to Eve Van Cauter of the University of Chicago, a “lack of sleep disrupts every physiologic function in the body.” To make matters worse, lack of sleep hinders your ability to realize your own performance is impaired, making you think you’re functioning well when you probably aren’t.

So now we know that sleep is necessary, but it’s up to each of us to make sure we get enough rest. In the end, getting better sleep helps you lead a better life.

About the Expert

Terry Cralle, RN is a registered nurse, certified clinical sleep educator, certified professional in Healthcare Quality, and has devoted much of her career to sleep health and wellness. As an educator and co-founder of a four-bed sleep disorders center, she serves as a consultant and speaker for numerous organizations, including schools, hospitals and corporations. She's the author of Sleeping Your Way to the Top  and Snoozby and the Great Big Bedtime Battle. For more visit www.terrycralle.com.

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