(DailyThrive.com) – Identifying bad habits is often straightforward. We know about the risks of smoking. We understand the health consequences of overeating or not getting enough exercise. Yet, we often ignore this one bad habit and its consequences.
Failing to get enough sleep is a terrible habit that comes with many health risks. In fact, the problem is so significant that the CDC has declared it a public health crisis, citing concerns with its links to disease and chronic illness. While loss of sleep may seem like a minor concern, it can have major impacts on our lives.
Because loss of sleep can lead to disease and chronic illness, it also has an impact on productivity. We cannot be productive at work if we aren’t well rested, and becoming ill more frequently due to inadequate sleep can have an impact on work and school attendance. To be more productive at work and at home, we need enough rest to function well and keep our immune systems functioning well, too.
Lack of sleep has an economic impact on the country as a whole. Many financial losses result from impairment due to lack of sleep. Making mistakes can certainly be more common when we haven’t had enough rest. Experts recommend that workers should get 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night to avoid economic loss.
Getting enough sleep has a positive impact on our lifespan, and failing to get enough sleep has a negative one. When we sleep fewer than 6 hours each night, we raise our mortality rate by 12% compared to someone who gets a full night of sleep, which is defined as 7 to 9 hours. This is a significant side effect with a real, measurable cost.
Researchers have found that a lack of adequate sleep is also associated with obesity. Individuals who get less sleep were also shown to drink more alcohol and sugary beverages. There was also a link to less exercise. These can all be contributing factors to obesity, which can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Staying up an extra hour or two to watch a movie or read that next chapter could seem like a worthwhile way to wind down after a long day, but after weighing the risks of inadequate sleep, we may reconsider. Getting between 6 and 8 hours of sleep seems to be the sweet spot where experts show that our health risks begin to decrease. Even if we cannot get a full 8 hours of restful sleep each night, we can make sure that we do our best to make sleep a priority. Kicking this one bad habit can help us live longer, healthier lives.
~Here’s to Your Success!
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