Counting Sheep

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Sleep plays a serious role in health and well-being throughout a person’s life, and getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety. The way a person feels while they’re awake depends in part on what happens while they’re asleep. While we sleep, our bodies are working to support healthy brain function and maintain physical health.

The damage from lack of sleep can occur in an instant, or it can harm you over time. It also can affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others.  According to , an estimated 50-70 million US adults have sleep or wakefulness disorder. Snoring is a major indicator of obstructive sleep apnea. In recognition of the importance of sleep to the nation’s health, CDC surveillance of sleep-related behaviors has increased in recent years.

In children and teens, sleep helps support growth and development.  Children and teens who have lack of sleep may have problems getting along with others. They might feel angry and impulsive, have mood swings, feel sad, depressed, or lack motivation. They may have problems paying attention, and they may get lower grades and feel stress. Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry or full.

Sleep deficiency is not only harmful on a personal level, but it can cause a lot of damage. For example, sleep deficiency has played a role in human errors linked to tragic accidents, such as nuclear reactor meltdowns, grounding of large ships, and aviation accidents.

  If your job or daily routine limits your ability to get enough sleep or sleep at the right times, talk with your doctor. You need to be able to get enough sleep every night to help you mentally and physically. If you don’t get enough sleep, many harmful things could happen to you.

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Counting Sheep