Top Reasons To Get Enough Sleep Make an Appointment Ask a Question Search Conditions This information has been reviewed and approved by Jack D. Edinger, PhD (February 2014). Want to use this on your website? Fill out the content usage request form and then copy this code: Summary: Top Reasons To Consistently Get Enough Sleep Controls Weight If you limit or restrict your sleep, your body tends to crave high-fat, high-calorie foods. Improves Health Getting insufficient amounts of sleep has been linked to serious health problems like diabetes, heart disease, heart attacks and obesity. Improves Focus A lack of sleep makes it harder to concentrate and perform effectively at your work. Sharpens Memory A lack of sleep over a prolonged period of time can impair memory. Regulates Mood The same neurotransmitters that involve sleep also regulate your mental health. Prolonged periods of sleep disturbance have been linked to depressive illnesses. "Washes" The Brain Waste products that build up in the brain during waking hours are "washed" from the brain during sleep, clearing toxins that otherwise make it difficult to think clearly if you haven't had a good night's sleep. Better Learner If you sleep after learning a task, it's easier to commit it to memory. Plus, you'll do better on tests. Less Risk Of Injury You'll be less likely to fall asleep at the wheel and have better coordination when performing simple household tasks like chopping vegetables or climbing a ladder. Strengthens Immunity When sleeping, your immune system releases cytokines (proteins) that respond to infections, inflammation and stress. Getting Enough Sleep But Still Tired? What Else Could Be To Blame? Psychological Causes Stress, major life events like divorce, job change/loss, or relationship troubles can drain you both mentally and physically. If you don't feel right for more than two weeks, seek professional help. Poor Diet High-fat, high-calorie foods can make you feel sluggish. Choose more foods in their natural state (fresh fruits, vegetables) and those with more protein to sustain your energy levels throughout the day. Medication Side Effects Some medications can cause drowsiness. Check with your pharmacist or doctor. Underlying Medical Conditions Thyroid problems, diabetes and heat disease are just a few conditions that could be making you tired. Get a physical so you doctor can rule out these things. Sleep Apnea Pauses in breathing while sleeping can affect your overall sleep quality. Most people with sleep apnea don't even know they have it. More Information on Sleep and Your Health Sleep Apnea Tips for Better Sleep Nutrition Healthy Recipes Exercise Pediatric Sleep Tips Sleep Center Sleep & Behavioral Health Sciences Section Make an Appointment Find a Doctor You may use this infographic or our Top Reasons to Consistently Get Enough Sleep (pdf) with permission by completing our content usage request form.