Remember when you were a kid, and you would fight your parents about taking a nap? Do you ever think about all the naps you wasted and get teary eyed? No? Just us? Oh, well, either way, people aren’t getting enough sleep. And the effects are more than just being a walking zombie the next day. There are serious health consequences when you don’t get the appropriate amount of shut-eye. Here are a couple to keep you awake at night.

  • It’s not good for your heart.

    According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep is essential for a healthy heart. "People who don’t sleep are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease – regardless of age, weight, smoking and exercise habits."

  • Sleep keeps your appetite in check.

    When you have good sleeping habits, your body is at rest, and your energy requirements are low. But when you have poor sleeping habits, and you’re moving around a lot, your body will need more calories, and your brain will send out a signal that you’re hungry, which can lead to late night snacking and weight gain. This late-night bad habit appears in both adults and children. A study in 2014 found that children who slept less had a higher risk of obesity and a high BMI.

  • Sleep keeps you healthy.

    Have you ever heard someone say, “I need a good night’s release of cytokines.”? No, of course not. But that’s exactly what they mean when they say, “I need a good night’s sleep.” While you sleep, your body’s immune system releases a compound called cytokines that fights infections and inflammations. When you don’t sleep enough, you don’t release enough cytokines leading to compromised immune systems.

  • Sleep keeps you sharp.

    Back to the walking zombie reference from above. People without the proper amount of sleep are more likely to have impaired judgment, interpret events differently, have trouble with memory, and have a difficult time processing information. Getting the right amount of sleep improves your creative problem solving, long-term memory making, and overall processing speed.