If you’ve ever spent a night tossing and turning, you already know how you’ll feel the next day — tired, cranky, and out of sorts. Missing out on the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep can be detrimental to our health.

The long-term effects of sleep deprivation are real. It drains our mental abilities and puts our physical health at real risk. Lack of sleep can lead to changes in mood, affect our memory, and weaken our immune system.  It can also lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. In addition, lack of sleep can age your skin. Most people have experienced sallow skin and puffy eyes after a few nights of missed sleep. However,  chronic sleep loss can lead to lackluster skin, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes.

Sleep deprivation is also linked to weight gain because it produces more of a hormone that increases our appetite. Over time, lack of sleep can lead to depression, impaired judgment, and reduced libido. There are also some claims that it affects fertility. The bottom line, sleep deprivation is not a minor issue. It can have serious and long-lasting health effects.  If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, try to change your bedtime habits and improve your sleep hygiene. If that does not work, talk with a medical professional.

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