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Sleep deprivation and its health consequences

by Mihaela Schwartz (follow)
General Wellness (166)      Health Warnings (51)     
Western society with its infernal rhythm has forced us to reduce lunch breaks, but also our sleeping time. Since the 1950's the average nights sleep has lost between one to two hours. This represents a substantial loss, which does not fail to have negative effects upon human health, as we cannot modify our biological rhythm so brutally without adverse effect upon body functions.

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Sleep is totally neglected by some people and even within entire families for various reasons: lack of knowledge of sleep physiology, overwork, feeling of well being in the evening or at night (those who are generally called night owls), need to de-stress by watching a movie or surfing the internet, spending time socialising, or simply considering that sleep is a waste of time.

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Defective, insufficient or poor quality sleep however can be very harmful for our health. Possible consequences include heart conditions, high blood pressure, overweight, memory lapses, nervous disorders, irregular hormone production or inhibition, a weakened immune system, constant irritability and nervousness, a slighter power of concentration, and longer reaction times.

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Here are a few signs that should make you aware that you need more sleep. Don’t ignore them, and treat your body well if you want to avoid more serious problems down the track:

You feel drowsy all day, especially when performing routine activities such as driving.
You often start a sentence, but forget its ending.
You are unable to follow a longer speech or presentation, although it is well structured and organized.
You feel hungry all the time or you totally lack appetite.
You experience strange sickness symptoms.
You forget what you did a minute ago.

These signs appear because the biological clock lacks its normal routine that enables it to function properly. Therefore, as busy as you think you are, allow your body to have the rest it needs so that you can be more productive in a shorter time.

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