Not getting enough sleep can have a negative impact on your life. Whether it’s from sleep insomnia, sleep apnea, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), or another sleep disorder, the dangers of sleep deprivation is unquestionable, showing up in both minor and major ways that affect your productivity at work, school, disturbing your day-to-day activities, and put a strain on your relationship with other people.

Your body requires a certain amount of sleep in order to function properly and if it doesn’t get enough, it will naturally try to find ways to cope with the problem. For many people, getting enough sleep isn’t always easy.

Most people don’t even recognize they have a sleep problem to begin with, failing to notice the telltale signs, or noticing something is not right and not taking the time to investigate the causes. If your body doesn’t get a sufficient amount of sleep everyday, the immediate effects can be felt as fatigue and a general drowsiness.

You may feel tired during the day, which could in time affect your physical and mental health. For older people, sleep deprivation typically means that restorative sleep that they need is lacking so their bodies aren’t recharging properly for the next day. If this pattern continues over time, the effect on the body accumulates until it becomes a serious medical condition that requires medical intervention.

A common physical effect that a lack of sleep can result in is weight change – in particular, weight gain. One of the restorative benefits of quality sleep is that your hormone levels are regulated to keep your body functions working properly.

If you suffer from sleep deprivation, then your hormone levels are thrown off balanced and as a result, some of your psychological processes – such as appetite – also change. You may feel hungry even after eating a big meal and you may feel full when your stomach is empty.

Chronic sleeplessness can also negatively affect your mental health leading to depression, irritability and impatience. Unfortunately, when it comes to their emotional health, most people would prefer to ignore any symptoms that are telling them there may be problems.

Some people may simply fail to connect their mood swings and emotional outbursts or breakdowns to a lack of quality sleep. Instead they shift blame elsewhere, focusing their attention away from and treating the real cause of their problems: sleep deprivation.

Some common sleep deprivation symptoms that may pose a danger to your physical and emotional well-being range from slurred speech and sleepiness, bad temper and intolerance to a gradual breakdown of the body’s immune system, making you susceptible to injury, the common cold, and more.

Have you ever driven your car while drowsy? The fundamental danger of doing that is obvious. While it may be a dramatic example, it’s an all-too-common occurrence and a powerful illustration of how important it is to get enough sleep.

Getting proper sleep is an important part of keeping yourself healthy and it needs to be treated with the same concern and care that you give to your other healthcare issues. The consequences of not dealing with your sleep deprivation could be deadly not only to yourself, but also to the people you care about and people you don’t even know.

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