Everyone knows that sleep is important and that we are supposed to get about 8 hours sleep a night.  But many people don’t understand the real dangers of long term sleep disruption or deprivation.  Here’s 5 reasons to turn off the TV, turn out the light and make sure tonight you get a good night’s sleep.

1. Your Figure

A lack of sleep will add pounds to your waistline.  If you’re not getting enough sleep, your bodies hormones are negatively affected, creating an improper balance in hormones.     Disruptions in our sleep patterns and long term sleep inadequacy also trick our brain into thinking we are starving – because the only biological reason not to sleep enough is if you are searching for food.  Our bodies react by decreasing our metabolism and storing more fat.   Perhaps there is something to the old adage about needing your beauty sleep after all.

2. Your Personality

Anyone who has been up all night with a baby, sick child or even a good book knows that everything seems harder the next day.  Sinceyou’re tired, you might become easily irritated or frustrated at situations that you’d otherwise not be.   That line at the grocery stores seemed forever long today.  Your spouse or friend said something that made you snap.  You’re just not yourself today.  Why?  When you are sleep deprived, you are more prone to becoming frustrated, clumsy or moody.

Now, imagine if every day was just like this one.  If you’re not feeling like yourself because you’re just too tired, it affects not only yourself but others around you. This too tired you, isn’t the person your family, friends or co workers once knew..  Your relationships with others could become more of a distant one.  This disconnect could lead to isolation from others and also be a sign of your unhappiness.

Since 2002, Valley Sleep Center, accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, has provided Arizona with diagnostic sleep disorder testing in a home-like atmosphere, ensuring a comfortable, relaxing experience for patients.  Their Board Certified Sleep Medicine Specialists consist of experienced and knowledgeable physicians who provide expert advice across a multitude of sleep related disorders including insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, hypertension, sleepwalking, and pediatric sleep problems.  They accept most insurance plans as well as Medicare.

For more information contact Lauri Leadley at 480-830-3900 or website.

3. Your Safety

While this one may seem like a no-brainer, most people still don’t realize just how big of an impact this can have on their lives.  For example, let’s say you didn’t sleep last night because you were up working on a presentation that you need today.  After one night without sleep, studies indicate that when you get behind the wheel of your car to drive to work, your level of impairment will be equivalent to that of someone with a blood alcohol level of .10.  In most states, that would get you arrested for driving under the influence.  The National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA) estimates that 100,000 crashes, 71,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities are caused each year by drowsy drivers.

Think you are in the clear because you sleep every night, even if it is only a few hours?  You aren’t.  It doesn’t take an entire sleepless night to impact your alertness. By consistently getting less sleep than you need, you are building up a sleep deficit that has the same impact as not sleeping at all.

4. Your Healthy Days

Are you the first one who catches the latest virus going around?  But that co worker doesn’t get any flu or cold sent her way.  What’s their secret? You might want to consider just how much sleep you and that co worker are actually getting.  Not getting enough sleep can actually weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to viruses or infections like the flu. A good night’s sleep may be just what the doctor ordered.

5. Your Life Expectancy

Long term suppression of your immune system opens you up to a variety of chronic conditions and diseases.  Without adequate sleep, you are also more likely to have high blood pressure, heart rate variability and heart disease.  Studies have also linked sleep deprivation to higher incidence of obesity, and increased risk for diabetes and chronic inflammation.  Even without these conditions, simply sleeping less than 5 hours a night on average reduces your life expectancy by 15%. For someone with a standard life expectancy of 78 years, that is almost 12 years off your life.