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Getting Out of Sleep Debt

By vitalhf, Mar 13 2019 01:00PM

By Dr. Holly A. Carling, O.M.D., L.Ac., Ph.D.

Sleep deprivation over a long period of time can create a profound sleep “debt”. Some researchers believe that we have to make up our sleep debt hour for hour. For every day that we don’t sleep, we fall deeper into debt. Like financial debt, a continual increase in debt can eventually bankrupt us.

Sleep debt can cause or contribute to many illnesses and can delay healing. Sleep deprivation is responsible for an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, workplace accidents and errors, and has a profound effect on our personal lives. It causes diminished performance – lack of judgement, slower cognition, more errors, improper perception, reduced efficiency, increased irritability and conflicts in our relationships with others.

As the costs of sleep debt are destroying lives, both personally and professionally, we have to find a way to get out of this crisis. Knowing that sleep debt is a problem only helps if you can put in extra sleep time to make up the debt. For the millions of Americans that struggle to get to sleep and stay asleep in the first place, a deeper solution is needed.

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