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7 Surprising Consequences of Not Getting Enough Sleep

7 Surprising Consequences of Not Getting Enough Sleep

Most of us get a good night’s sleep when it’s convenient. Or when we’re so tired we can’t keep our eyes open. But research and experts argue that a good night’s sleep needs to be a priority, not a luxury.

Here are seven reasons you need to start taking sleep deprivation seriously and get your recommended eight hours of sleep every night. If you tend to toss and turn at night, there are suggestions below on small changes you can make to help you get restful sleep.

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1. It drags down your sex drive.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “cutting back on sleep drastically reduces a healthy young man’s testosterone levels,” One of the many negative effects of reduced testosterone is lowered libido.

2. It can lead you to make tragic mistakes.

The Huffington Post says sleep deprivation played a role in Chernobyl, the Three Mile Island accident, the Challenger explosion, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the American Airlines Flight 1420 crash.

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3. It impairs you as a driver.

According to the CDC, “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013.” These statistics become more even alarming when the article states “an estimated 1 in 25 adult drivers (aged 18 years or older) report having fallen asleep while driving in the previous 30 days.”

4. It makes it hard to lose weight or prevents weight gain.

WebMD reports that “in a review of 18 studies, researchers found that a lack of sleep led to increased cravings for energy-dense, high-carbohydrate foods.” This certainly isn’t helpful for weight loss, and additional studies support the idea that if you want to get slim, you need to get sleep.

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5. It can lead to serious health problems.

Healthline reports that “sleep deprivation can lead to higher risk of chronic health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.”

6. It can contribute to depression.

The National Sleep Foundation says “sleep problems may cause or contribute to depressive disorders.” This can turn into a vicious circle because depression, in turn, is suspected to interfere with sleep.

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7. It messes with your moods.

A Harvard Med article reports that “University of Pennsylvania researchers found that subjects who were limited to only 4.5 hours of sleep a night for one week reported feeling more stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted.” (Here’s the research study’s abstract.)

How to get a good night’s sleep

Hopefully this post has inspired you to strive for better sleep. Experts recommend adults make it a priority to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, here are a few tips:

  • The Mayo Clinic warns that “the stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can wreak havoc on quality sleep.” So you might want to consider passing on a soda at dinner or an evening smoke.
  • Dr. Michael J. Breus of The Huffington Post recommends making your bedroom cool and dark to create a sleep-friendly environment.
  • The National Sleep Foundation encourages you to invest in a comfortable mattress and nice pillows. And it also says to “use your bed only for sleep and sex to strengthen the association between bed and sleep.”
  • Here’s a surprising tip from Kansas State University: “Never oversleep.” The university’s article argues you should get up at the same time every day because “sleeping late for just a couple of days can reset your body clock to a different cycle–you’ll be getting sleepy later and waking up later.” Upon further research, I found this opinion to be fairly common. Sticking to a sleep schedule increases the chances your body will be tired at bedtime.

Try these ideas to get a better night’s sleep and to avoid the surprising consequences of not having enough sleep. Your health, your safety, and your sex drive might depend on it.

Featured photo credit: 40+293 Snooze/bark via flickr.com

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Kyle Young

Operations Manager, GoinsWriter

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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