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Sleep. When you are getting enough of it, you don’t give it a second thought. As soon as you start getting a little less of it, you can’t help but take notice. Here are seven reasons you should take notice and do what you can to get enough zzzz’s.

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Ongoing sleep deficiency can put you at risk for chronic health problems. Feeling lousy chronically is never good.

Sleep deficiency also puts you at higher risk for serious health issues, such as heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. It also results in higher than normal blood sugar levels, which can increase your risk for diabetes.

>> Read more: How To Prevent Pre-Diabetes From Turning into Diabetes

Lack of sleep causes weight gain, makes it more difficult to lose weight, and puts you at risk for obesity. Sufficient sleep actually helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry or full. Sleep deprivation causes the level of the hormone that makes you feel full to decrease and the hormone that makes you feel hungry to increase so you feel hungrier than when you are well rested.

>> Read more: Hormones and Weight Gain After 40

Sleep is involved in the healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels, so you need to give your body enough time to do that job effectively. When you are in a deep sleep, your body also knows it’s time to release the hormone that boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues. Sleep helps your body, head to toe, inside and out.

Getting enough sleep helps improve your ability to learn, pay attention, make decisions and be creative. Who wouldn’t want to help themselves do all those things a little better?

Lack of sleep causes a decrease in your immune system’s responsiveness, which means you have more difficulty fighting common infections.

>> Read more: Simple Ways To Boost Your Immune System

Getting enough sleep doesn’t just help you avoid getting colds and other viruses you are regularly exposed to, but it also curbs inflammation. So coupled with regular exercise, regular sleep really does the body good!