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What are some effects of sleep deprivation?

Everyone has an occasional sleepless night. And a mile-long to-do list makes getting a nightly eight hours of sleep a challenge. However, for more than 40 million people in the United States, their chronic lack of sleep is the result of a sleep disorder and poses bigger risks than dark circles under the eyes. If you're in this group of tossers and turners, you don't just feel tired and draggy. You may also suffer the effects of sleep deprivation, such as these:

  • Drowsiness
  • Irritability
  • Forgetfulness and impaired thinking
  • Traffic- or work-related accidents
  • Decreased productivity
  • Strained relationships
  • Weight gain

An ongoing lack of ZZZs can mess with your immune system and undermine your health, increasing your risk of obesity, heart problems, diabetes, and depression. You may even become old before your time: Researchers have found that chronic sleep deprivation speeds up aging.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.