7 Things No One Ever Taught You About Sleep Deprivation

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These days, there are so many things that can make it easy to skip out on sleep. You might have a busy schedule, or stay up late watching your favorite shows, or get caught up with your phone — and before you know it it's 2 a.m. And yet, while it doesn't always feel like a big deal, these habits can easily lead to sleep deprivation, which is a real and serious thing.

"Sleep is not optional, and getting limited quantities has real consequences," Dr. Sujay Kansagra, Mattress Firm’s sleep health expert, tells Bustle. "Lack of adequate nighttime sleep can cause chronic sleep deprivation." And usually, that means you aren't getting the recommended seven to nine hours of shut eye, each and every night.

"Without the proper amount of rest, we will inevitably feel sleep deprived," Dr. Kasagra says. "Even a few poor nights of sleep can lead to serious sleep deprivation and poor immune function," and it can also increase your risk of health issues and other serious side effects.

In order to get good sleep, experts recommend listening to your body, and sticking to a schedule. Going to bed at the same time every night can help you develop a routine and fall asleep easier. Practicing sleep hygiene can also be helpful, as it basically means relaxing before bed, making sure your room is dark, cool, and comfortable, and reducing stress — so you can drift off peacefully.

If you aren't getting enough sleep each night, you will become sleep deprived. And it will have an impact on how you feel. Read on below for some surprising things you might not know about sleep deprivation, according to experts.