Sleep is a very important part of our system.  It enables us to rest and it gives our brains and bodies the time to replenish the energy that we expended to accomplish our tasks for the day.  It gives our bodies the energy to rebuild worn out tissues, it helps to keep our heart healthy and it plays a major role in relieving us from stress which causes depression.

Lack of sleep and sufficient rest can cause major problems of the mind and body.  You should therefore get enough sleep on a consistent basis in order to maintain good physical and mental health.

Here are some of the health risks of sleep deprivation:

1. It gives your body a hard time to process sugar

Sleep deprivation makes it hard for your system to process your sugar intake.  People gain weight because it's hard for the body to regulate metabolism when it is kept awake.

When your body's ability to process sugar is not enough, your blood sugar levels will rise.  It will be a cause for weight problems and diabetes in the long term.

2. It increases the level of stress hormones in your body

Aside from its effect on the functions of your system, sleep deprivation can also stress you out.  It's because it simply raises the level of stress hormones in your body.

3. It can cause hypertension

When sleep deprivation becomes regular, the high level of stress hormones in your body would be enough to trigger high blood pressure.  It can put you at a higher risk of stroke or heart diseases.  You can help to protect yourself from hypertension and heart problems by getting enough sleep and rest.

4. It weakens the immune system

Aside from its ability to drain you of physical and mental energy, lack of sleep also makes you susceptible to diseases because it weakens your immune system.

When you have an impaired immune system, your body will find it hard to fight off disease-causing organisms such as viruses and bacteria.  Sleep is a very important factor to keep your body strong inside and out.

5. It makes you irritable

Lack of sleep is a cause of physical and mental fatigue.  This can make you prone to easily get irritated even for petty things.  This can affect your relationship with the people around you including your friends and loved ones.

6. It reduces memory and mental ability

Sleep deprivation affects your brain in a lot of ways.  It reduces memory, lessen you brain's ability to process information and it affects your ability to evaluate things and make decisions.  It also affects your alertness level and makes you more susceptible to accidents.

You should get seven to eight hours of sleep each day in order to remain physically and mentally healthy and alert.  This can help to give you a long, well-balanced life.