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Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Find out what happens when you don't.

Photo: Felicia T. Simpson

It's funny that I am writing this post from the comfort of my bed. I decided that today was going to be a day of relaxation. That means that from the comfort of my bed I would write this blog post, check my email, watch television and nap.

It is so funny that I now look at naps as a thing of enjoyment. It takes me back to when I was a child and a daily nap was not an option with my grandmother. You were going to take a nap right after lunch. I can remember getting in trouble because I just wasn't sleepy. I did not want to waste time sleeping. So I would be wide awake for the whole 30 minute nap time. While my siblings and cousins napped away, I would be talking and singing to myself.

Roll this over into adulthood and I felt the same way. Not only did I not want to take a nap, but I didn't really like to sleep. I felt it was such a waste of time. There was just too much going on for me to waste time sleeping. I could not understand my friends who loved to take naps; who slept late and just really enjoyed sleeping.

To me, sleeping was really just a waste. I went to bed late and I woke up early. (without an alarm) My body just woke up after about 4-5 hours. To me sleeping in was to sleep until 8:00 am. If I wanted to sleep a little later I would take some Benedryl and that would help me stay asleep longer.

So fast forward to now. Actually two years ago. I begin to appreciate the benefits of taking a nap. I still don't need a lot of sleep and I still wake up early, but at least I take naps now. Hence today. I actually look forward to spending the day in bed. My guilty pleasure is napping and Hallmark movies.

I was reading a magazine article the other day and it talked about the benefits of sleeping. You know how you can know something, but it really doesn't sink in at the time? Well that is how it was with me. I knew that it was important to get enough sleep, but it didn't sink in. This time it did. So let me share with you some of the reasons I now am a believer in getting those important zzzzzz's.

Alzheimer's is more common in those who don't get adequate sleep. Not getting enough sleep makes you look older and weakens the skin's external barrier, which keeps water in and bacteria out. Skimping on sleep may also alter the production of collagen and accelerate it's breakdown, Getting enough sleep also helps you to feel less anxious.(Goodhousekeeping 2019)

Some of the most serious potential problems associated with chronic sleep deprivation are high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure or stroke. Other potential problems include obesity, depression, impairment in immunity and lower sex drive. Chronic sleep deprivation can even affect your appearance. (Jun 16, 2020)

Here's What Happens When You Don't Get Enough Sleep (And How ...

Knowing these facts and the importance of getting enough sleep, I am now working on making sure I get more sleep. At least going to sleep when I feel sleepy instead of fighting sleep to stay up a little longer.

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