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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 December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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