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Why is Sleep Important to Your Health?

Sleep is as critical to your health as physical activity and good nutrition is.  Sleep is a simple and achievable requirement for infant, child, and adolescent health and development of their bodies. Sleep loss and untreated sleep disorders influence basic patterns of behavior that negatively affect family health and relationships.  I am sure you have experienced a persons’ bad mood when they did not get their full 8 hours of sleep the night before. Fatigue and sleepiness can decrease productivity and increase the chance for medical errors and motor vehicle accidents for example.

Sleep helps:

Fight off infection
Support the metabolism of sugar to prevent diabetes
Perform well in school and work
Work effectively and safely

Sleep timing and duration affect a number of endocrine, metabolic, and neurological functions that are important to the maintaining individual health. If left untreated, sleep disorders and chronic short sleep are associated with an increased risk of:

Heart disease

High blood pressure

Obesity

Diabetes

All-cause mortality

Sleep issues cause concern for individuals with chronic disabilities and disorders such as arthritis, kidney disease, pain, HIV, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and depression or anxiety. Among older adults, the cognitive and medical consequences of untreated sleep disorders decrease health-related quality of life, contribute to functional limitations and loss of independence, and are associated with an increased risk of death from any cause.

In  conclusion, get enough sleep!

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