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Effects of Lack of Sleep on Your Health

Written By Guest Writer on Friday, February 8, 2013 | 9:00 AM

Effects of Lack of Sleep on Your Health
Sleep is important in your quest for good health. For example, binge sleeping on the weekends is less healthy than just getting 1 or 2 additional hours of sleep. The body has an internal sleep clock known as the circadian rhythm. The internal clock resets when sleeping pattern is altered.
Experts believe the circadian rhythm is highly governed by the amount of light a person is exposed to. Ways to set your internal clock include dimming the lights around bedtime, brightening light in the morning and sticking to a predetermined bedtime and wake time every day of the week. 
Below are a few of the ways in which sleep deprivation (not having optimal amount of sleep for your age) affects your health and lifestyle:
Grades – Students who get the proper amount of sleep are able to solve problems and apply reasoning to difficult concepts because sleep allows the brain to function at its optimal level. Lack of sleep often results in a lower grade point average. Students are less alert, less able to concentrate and less likely to retain what they learned. As a result, they get poorer grades on assignments and tests. Those who stay up too late also have trouble waking up on time in the morning. This results in poor attendance, which causes them to miss crucial information that directly affects their grades. Poor grades definitely have negative impact on the psyche of any student and their folks.
Athletics – Those who participate in sports require proper amount of sleep to perform well during the game. Sleep deprivation causes lack of judgement and poor reflexes. Athletes need to be alert and able to focus on all the different aspects of the game. They need quick reaction time, but lack of sleep reduces both speed and efficiency. Poor performance can result in game-related injuries to the athlete and other team members.
Mental and physical health – One of the benefits of getting enough rest is an improvement in mood. Students who fail to get enough sleep are more prone to be sad, stressed out, depressed, angry or mentally exhausted. They may have more emotional problems than those who get the appropriate amount of sleep. Lack of sleep weakens the immune system and increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes. Adequate sleep replenishes the body’s energy supply, which promotes overall health.
Focus – Lack of sleep causes a shorter attention span and lack of focus. This affects the ability of students to pay attention in class or while doing their homework. It also affects driving and machine operation, which can be very dangerous. According to the national Highway Safety Traffic Administration, over 100,000 accidents are caused by those who are tired.
The amount of sleep needed on a daily basis varies with age. The recommended allotment of sleep for children between the ages of 7 and 12 is 10 to 11 hours of sleep every day. Adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 should be getting between 8 and 9 hours of sleep every day.
However, many experts, including the national Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, recommended 9 hours for adults.
 A good night’s sleep is important for optimal health, learn to “switch off” often and enjoy a happier, healthier life after.
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