SLEEP DEBT: Drowsiness is red alert!

Sleep debt is the difference between the amount of sleep an individual needs and hours he or she actually gets. Eventually, the debt will have to be repaid. It won’t go away on its own. If you lose an hour of sleep, you must make up that extra hour somewhere down the line in order to bring your ‘account’ back into balance.
Sleep debt is the effect of not getting enough rest and sleep, and a large debt causes mental, emotional and physical fatigue. Sleep debt results in diminished abilities to perform high-level cognitive functions. Neurophysiological and functional imaging studies have demonstrated that frontal regions of the brain are particularly responsive to homeostatic sleep pressure.
Many of us try to repay our sleep debt by sleeping in on the weekends. But as it turns out, bouncing back from chronic lack of sleep isn’t that easy. One or two solid nights of sleep aren’t enough to pay off a long-term debt. If you lost 10 hours of sleep, pay the debt back in nightly one or two-hour installments. To prevent sleep debt, make sleep a priority. Instead of cutting back on sleep in order to tackle the rest of your daily tasks, put sleep at the top of your to-do list.
Generally sleep deprivation might result in aching muscles and increased risk of fibromyalgia. There are also the risk of confusion, memory lapses or loss, irritability, hand tremors, hallucinations, headache, reduced performance and ability. With sleep deprivation, there is increased risk of car accidents and occupational accidents, lack of concentration causing impaired learning, depression, blood pressure, increased stress hormone levels and increased risk of obesity, increased yawning and temper tantrums in children, impaired immune function, increased risk of cancer and increased inflammation, and a variety of diseases and conditions.
Dr. Akinjobi of Marvina Sleep Centre, observed that sleep is the most undervalued contributor to optimal health and performance. He said many people have no idea that getting enough sleep is essential for helping them stick to a diet, making their workouts more productive, or boosting their immune system in general.
In terms of prevention, various studies indicate that consistently sleeping around seven hours per night is optimal for health, and a sustained reduction may predispose to ill health. A good night’s sleep is one of the absolute essential requirements for being healthy. You can have a perfect diet, have no stress and be physically fit, but if you aren’t sleeping well you will simply not be healthy.


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