Feeling sluggish at work? Unwilling to take on activities you normally love doing, or experiencing a lack of enthusiasm for events and life in general? You may not be getting enough sleep, and if you maintain a busy schedule that keeps you up at all hours you will soon discover that sleep deprivation eventually takes its toll. Going through life listless and tired is certainly not healthy, and fatigue is just the least of your problems.

When you suffer a lack of a good night’s sleep, you put yourself at risk for a number of problems:

Weight Gain – When you do not sleep regularly, you may create a hormonal imbalance in your body. The hormones ghrelin increases your appetite, while leptin triggers that sense of feeling full. Send these out of whack, and bad sleeping habits will effect your eating schedule, perhaps causing you to pack on the pounds.

Disrupted Concentration – If you are not fully rested, you are more apt to forget things and feel restless when trying to work. You may become more distracted and have a tendency to forget things. You need to sleep a full eight hours to give your brain the rest it needs to function properly.

Vulnerability to Illness – Keeping awake when you should be in bed does a number on other hormones as well, especially melatonin. This assists in fighting cancer agents, and when there’s an imbalance it puts your health in danger.

Higher Propensity for Accidents – Burning the midnight oil may lead to getting burned, literally. A fatigued mind and body increases the opportunity for accidents, especially if you are driving. Don’t get behind the wheel if you know you haven’t been sleeping well.

The news is bad enough to keep you awake at night, but the good news is: if you get a proper night’s rest you have the chance to reserve these problems and live healthier.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on organic mattresses and organic pillows.