By: Sue Phaneuf, LMHC Student Intern

Sleep deprivation is common in our culture. Some people choose to get away with less sleep yet lack of it can actually make us less productive, even if you feel as though you are getting more done. Sleep deprivation can actually do much more than hurt your productivity. According to a recent report by MSNBC*, When we deprive ourselves of sleep, this can affect both our mental health and our physical health. These are a few possible effects of poor sleep hygiene:

Fatigue, irritability, careless mistake, difficulty concentrating, and slower reaction times which add up to increased stress levels.

My biggest concern is the affect lack of sleep has on our relationships, our performance at work or school, and our ability to enjoy life. Many studies have been done which sleep deprivation increases the risk of injury and accidents at work or on the road. After a few days of sleep deprivation our body undergoes changes similar to “fast-forward” aging, memory loss, metabolism problems (with sugar and hormones), and changes causing poor athletic performance.

If sleep deprivation continues over the long term, it increases the risk of more serious health problems, such as:
weakened immune system,
diabetes (the body cannot process sugar properly)
high blood pressure
Sleep educators have found needs vary from person to person and from night to night. Some people think they can train their body to require less sleep. The most important thing is to establish good sleep habits.

Improving your sleep hygiene can give you more rest for your body, restore mental energy, improve muscle tone and skin appearance. Athletes have been charted running better, and lift more weight when their sleep habits improved.

In the caring counseling environment of LifeWorks Group we can help you unpack internal issues causing anxiety, stress, and depression which prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. Give us a call we are committed to finding answers that will help make life work for you.

About the Author: Sue is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor intern under the direction of the team of professional counselors at the Lifeworks Group, Inc. She seeks to discover ways to minister freedom and healing to the heart of those who are hurting emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. As a lay counselor, she has invested in the lives of: women, children, adolescents, college students, couples, elderly, and Christians in leadership. Her passion has been to be used by God caregiver to encourage clients in their life’s journey while improving their relationships.

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