Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

sleepAhh…sleep, we all love it but don’t get enough of it. Most of us are walking around sleep deprived. And we think, OK, I need to do better and try to get more sleep. No big deal!

Atually our lack of regular, sound sleep is a big deal. It’s causing all kinds of problems for our body, mind and spirit.

Sleep-related habits do affect our health in so many ways. Let’s look at a few concerns that may put us at an increase risk:

  1. Alzheimer’s Disease: New research points to a correlation between a lack of sleep and the disease. Specifically, researchers looked at sleep-disordered breathing like sleep apnea as a risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease. Getting good sleep could be a protective factor for dementia.
  2. Diabetes Type 2: Lack of sleep is showing up in studies with children as an increased risk factor in developing diabetes. And the deficit doesn’t have to be big–losing an hour or two can make a difference.
  3. Obesity: A lack of sleep can lead to obesity. This is not new information. The body needs to reboot during the night and when you don’t get sleep, you stress your body out! Sleep to lose weight!
  4. Risk-seeking behavior: This is an interesting connection with sleep. A study at the University of Zurich found that people who got less than 8 hours of sleep were more likely to take risks, but were not aware of this. Risk-taking can lead to unintended consequences, so make snoozing a priority.
  5. Irritability: I can tell when someone I care about is sleep-deprived. They are irritable and more difficult to live with so do your relationships a favor….sleep to be nicer!

I know, you are busy, have a lot on your mind and don’t have time for sleep. But sleep should be like taking a meeting, arranging a date, or exercise –you make yourself do it on a regular basis in order to improve your overall functioning and decrease risk of health problems.

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