Sleep has gotten a bad rap in our society. Sleep is often confused with laziness. Sleep is emblematic of sloth. Sleep is, however, an essential part of health maintenance. While we are still figuring out exactly what sleep does, sleep is necessary for our health. One thing sleep does is allow our bodies to rid our brains of chemicals that build up in our waking hours, something only possible when the conscious processes shut down. Not getting enough sleep can lead to irritability, daytime fatigue, excessive sleepiness and yawning, of course. It can also cause problems with the central nervous system, the immune system and the respiratory system, including depression, paranoia, hallucinations, impulsive behavior and even suicidal thoughts.
Sleep deprivation causes your body to release higher levels of insulin than normal, which can cause you to put on weight and increases your risk of type 2 diabetes. It also reduces production of a hormone called leptin, which tells your brain that your appetite is sated. Given these changes alone, sleep deprivation can have harmful effects, influencing your weight, your organs, and in the case of type 2 diabetes, your limbs.
Concentrate: have you had enough sleep? Could you get better sleep? Time to wake up and find out!