Sleep plays an important role in maintaining our physical as well as mental well-being. How we function during the day is a direct result of the quality and quantity of sleep we get. While most people are aware of the common side-effects of sleep deprivation like tiredness, irritability and trouble concentrating, may people do not know the health risks that can be brought on by ongoing sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation and poor sleep quality have been linked with many medical conditions like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and mood disorders, to name a few.
The old adage “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” may hold true in modern age also. Adequate sleep is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some of the health risks of sleep deprivation that you cannot ignore.
1. Memory and Concentration
Staying up all night to cram for exam? Most of us have been guilty of this at some time or other. Did you know that sleep plays a crucial role in consolidating memories and learning? In a study conducted on college grads, students with sleep lesser than 5 hours a day on a average were found to have lower academic performance.
Sleep Healthy Habit: Adults need at least 7-8 hours of sleep per day. Plan your day in such a way that allows you to get 7-8 hours of sleep per day.

2. Obesity
There is some evidence linking obesity with poor sleep habits. Some studies have shown poor sleep to be associated with increase in appetites. A recent study showed that individuals with sleep deprivation are also more likely to make unhealthy food choices. Moreover, sleep deprived individuals may be too tired to exercise.
Sleep Healthy Habit: Have a regular bedtime schedule. A recent study has shown that having a consistent sleeping and waking schedule is associated with lower body fat.

3. High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease
Blood pressure dips during sleep and reduced dipping of blood pressure due to lack of sleep may lead to increase in blood pressure. Also, Obstructive sleep apnea, a condition, associated with multiple night-time awakenings and sleep deprivation has been associated with risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
Sleep Healthy Habit: Finish eating at least 2 hours before bedtime. Try to avoid any caffeinated drinks at least 6 hours before your bedtime.

4. Diabetes, Type 2
Some recent studies have shown that disrupted sleep as associated with obstructive sleep apnea is associated with increased risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. As mentioned above, chronic sleep deprivation may increase the risk for type 2 diabetes by weight again and altered appetites and also may affect glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity.
Sleep Healthy Habit: Exercise! Regular Exercise not only helps maintain healthy weight but can also improve sleep.

5. Mood Disorders
Studies have found that chronic sleep deprivation may have negative effects on mood. Chronic sleep loss can lead to increased stress and may be associated with development of depression, anxiety and other mood disorders.
Healthy Sleep Habit: Are you addicted to your Smartphone and feel the need to check every status update on every app even in the middle of your sleep? Turn off your gadgets if possible. Avoid watching TV when in bed and working on your laptop from your bed.
A good sleep schedule is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. Stay tuned to read more on the tips to follow for a good night sleep.