Morning time. African-american woman hugging pillow in bedWe get it.

Life is busy and one thing that can feel easy to cut out during a time crunch is sleep. However, you may want to think again before robbing yourself of that much-needed beauty rest.

When you think about it, sleep is the body's opportunity to restore, rejuvenate and refresh for another day of living. Because, let's face it. There are not only the external efforts and stresses that we experience each day — there's a whole host of activity going on inside the body just to keep us upright and moving forward on a daily basis.

We definitely owe it to ourselves to block out time for adequate sleep each night. While there are many obvious benefits to getting adequate sleep, it's also important to remember the negative impact of lack of sleep, too. In fact, sleep deprivation can be downright dangerous to our health.

1. Sharp Memory

Sleep plays a huge role in memory and learning, which is why you often feel foggy the next day after not getting quite enough sleep.

2. Mood Boost

Managing emotions can be challenging on a good day, but when dealing with lack of sleep it can start to feel impossible. Sleep is when our mind is allowed to process and decode different emotions we have experienced throughout the day. Lack of sleep may impact our ability to do so in a positive, energetic manner.

3. Immune Support

Sleep time is also when the body's immune system is given a chance to catch up and to react to different threats the body has encountered. The immune system's job is to identify and respond to various bacteria and viruses in our environment and continued lack of sleep can hamper the body's ability to do that.

4. Weight Control

It's odd to think that lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain, however it's true! When we don't get enough sleep, some of the hormones in our brain that control appetite (leptin and ghrelin) are triggered and we feel hungry. There is also the sheer fact that you are awake more hours in a 24-hour time period, so there is more time to eat.

5. Healthy Heart

Lack of sleep is hard on your heart. During sleep the heart and blood vessels are allowed to rest by allowing your blood pressure to slow down during that time. When we skimp on sleep, the hardworking organ is not given this chance to rest.

Most of us know the importance of sleep, but sometimes we don't always follow through on that knowledge. By just managing our time, creating a consistent bedtime routine, and banning screens from our rooms, our sleep (and our health) can improve.

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