Between pandemics, homework, or just staying up to binge watch that new show on Netflix, we’re not getting enough sleep.

Many people look at sleep the wrong way. They see it as a task they have to do when they feel tired. But, it’s actually a way to replenish and nourish your body. Just like we take our supplements and eat our veggies daily to stay healthy, we also need to get enough sleep for optimal health.

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Sleeping isn’t something you just have to cross off your list. It’s something your body requires to remain in peak performance and functionality.

You should get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. If you make a habit out of getting less than 8 hours of sleep, your organs will suffer the effects, which will lead to decreased functionality overall. Of course, this is not immediately apparent in most cases, but the results will add up in the long run.

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What exactly happens when I deprive myself of sleep?

-Memory Issues: When we sleep our brain forms connections that help you process and remember new information. If you don’t get enough sleep, it can negatively impact your short and long-term memory.

-Trouble Concentrating: your creativity, focus, and problem solving skills will be slow, and you’ll easily lose track of your thoughts.

-Weakened Immunity: Insufficient sleep weakens your immune system. Your defenses against colds, viruses, and flu will decrease.

-High Blood Pressure: If you sleep less than five hours a night, your risk of high blood pressure increases.

-Risk for diabetes: Lack of sleep affects your body’s release of insulin, a blood sugar-lowering hormone. People who don’t get enough sleep have higher blood sugar levels, and a higher risk for type 2 diabetes.

-Weight gain: The chemicals that signal to your brain that you are full become unbalanced with insufficient sleep. Therefore, we become more likely to overindulge, even when you’ve had enough to eat.

-Risk of heart disease: Sleep deprivation can also lead to increased blood pressure and higher levels of chemicals linked to inflammation, both of which play roles in heart disease.

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Sometimes your lack of sleep is not by choice, difficulty falling, and staying asleep each night is a common ailment. If you experience broken sleep, there are many options to help soothe and relax you to deep and uninterrupted sleep. Some are expensive products, or devices. Before investing in something like that, there are a number of free sleep apps available, such as the Sleepa app, which is available for both Android and iOS.

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The app offers various features that are designed to make you fall asleep in phases, hence achieving proper sleep cycles throughout the night. These features include, high quality nature and ambient sounds, a battery efficient sleep timer, an ambient alarm clock, and much more! You can also create your own custom mix of ambient sounds and save your favorites. If you sometimes experience issues with your internet connection, don’t worry -- Sleepa can be used offline!