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Sleep for Better Health!

Are you getting enough sleep? According to the American Psychological Association, sleep is essential for a person’s health and wellbeing, yet millions of people do not get enough of it!

Experts say that adults require an average of seven to eight hours of sleep each night. However, some are able to function after as little as six hours of sleep, and others cannot function until they've slept ten hours.

If you are among those who sleep six or seven hours, having one or two hours of extra sleep can substantially improve your mood, weight, libido, and your overall health.

Otherwise, you may encounter the following negative effects to your health, your mood, cognitive functioning, and sex drive:

1. Health Problems - Research has found a link between insufficient sleep and some serious health problems, such as heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity. Inadequate sleep adversely affects neurobehavioral and physiological functions and is a risk factor for adverse health outcomes, as well as reduced safety and quality of life.

2. Cognitive Problems - Sleep loss affects how you think, impairing cognition, attention, and decision-making capacities. Studies have found that people who are sleep-deprived are substantially worse at solving logic or math problems than they are when well-rested. Fatigue can also lead to forgetfulness, absent-mindedness, "brain fog", and poor concentration. Sleep deprivation can even lead to impaired judgment.

3. Mood Problems - Sleeplessness can have profound impacts on mood, leaving you irritable, impatient, stressed, lethargic, or gloomy. When people are exhausted, they are less able to regular their emotions and are more likely to feel overwhelmed, lose their temper, or start crying when faced with situations that would not normally elicit such an emotional response.

4. Weight Gain or Difficulty Losing Weight - Sleep loss can result in feelings of hunger, even when you are full. Sleep loss has been shown to affect the secretion of cortisol, a hormone that regulates appetite. As a result, individuals who lose sleep may continue to feel hungry despite adequate food intake. Sleep loss may also interfere with the body's ability to metabolize carbohydrates, which leads to high levels of blood sugar. Excess blood sugarpromotes the overproduction of insulin, which can lead to the storage of body fat andinsulin resistance, a critical step into the development of diabetes.

5. Poor Libido - Sleep specialists say that sleep-deprived men and women report lower libidos and less interest in sex. Depleted energy, sleepiness, and increased tension may be largely to blame. Furthermore, men who suffer from sleep apnea have been shown to secrete lower levels of testosterone.

6. Higher Pain Levels - Many studies have shown a link between sleep deprivation and a lower threshold for pain. Getting enough sleep can actually reduce symptoms of pain.

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