In Search of Sleep

Why Rest Is a Big Priority

Don't become one of those parents who boasts about lack of sleep like it's some kind of honor. You need rest to recharge your body. Improper rest can have consequences that range from irritating to life threatening. Staying up late to clean or watch movies is silly when you consider that a lack of sleep can cause:

  • Weight gain: You don't have energy to exercise when you're tired, plus your body craves carbohydrates in its effort to find energy. Kline also explains that when you're not sleeping properly, levels of the hormone ghrelin (which triggers appetite) rise and levels of the hormone leptin (which controls appetite) drop.
  • Bad moods and safety concerns: Sleep deprivation leaves you impatient and unable to concentrate. More troublesome side effects are poor judgment and slow reaction time -- scary if you're watching kids or driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 100,000 car accidents each year are linked to fatigue.
  • More colds: Sleep helps boost the immune system. If you're wiped out, you're less able to fend off colds.
  • Memory loss: According to Harvard Women's Health Watch, the REM stage of sleep helps the brain process new information and remember it.

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