If you haven’t had enough sleep, you might be feeling groggy, irritable and even in a bit of pain.

Home doctor experts at House Call Doctor say a lack of sleep has a direct impact on our brain’s ability to process pain, resulting in us feeling more intense pain if we haven’t had adequate rest.

Mood and other mental health problems are also linked to the quality of sleep.

Other effects of sleep deprivation include:

  • Decrease of cognitive processes: Sleep plays a pivotal role in being able to think, learn and perform tasks. If you don’t get enough sleep, your levels of attention, alertness, reasoning, concentration and problem solving will decrease. You can also suffer from forgetfulness.
  • Serious health problems: Insufficient sleep can have a serious effect on your health, increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat.
  • Being overtired can increase the risk of depression: If you’re constantly suffering from a lack of sleep or a sleep disorder, it can increase your risk of developing depression or anxiety.
  • Gaining weight: Insufficient sleep increases hunger and appetite. Studies show that people who sleep less than six hours a day are more at risk of becoming obese than those who have seven to nine hours sleep.

The recommended amount of sleep is between seven to nine hours per night.

Here are some tips to help you get into a good sleeping routine:

  • Make a routine and stick with it
  • Turn on the lights in the morning to help your body clock wake up
  • Dim your lights at night to tell your body that it’s almost time to sleep
  • Avoid using any blue light screens such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops and even some e-readers before going to bed
  • Work out during the day, so you can sleep better at night
  • Don’t eat a big meal before you go to bed
  • Avoid taking long naps and large amounts of caffeine during the day.

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