Self-Care and Mental Health

on Wednesday, 24 July 2019.

Practicing self-care isn’t always convenient. Most of us are crazy busy, have stressful jobs or are too consumed with technology to make time to focus on ourselves. Alone time is usually last on the agenda, or nonexistent. Practicing self-care can improve your mental health, calm your moods and improve confidence. Getting started with self-care can be challenging, though it’s actually very simple.

 Getting started:

1.      1.         Make sleep part of your self-care routine. Stress and other distractions can wreak havoc on our sleep, causing us to lose control of our emotions when tired. Make time to set yourself up for success the next day with a good night’s sleep.

 2.      Daily exercise can help you both physically and mentally, boosting your mood and reducing stress and anxiety. The gym is an intimidating environment to some. Find an activity that you enjoy and will look forward to doing to ensure you’ll stick to it.

 3.      Say no to others, and say yes to your self-care. Learning to say no is difficult, as many of us feel obligated to say yes when someone asks for our time or energy. However, if you’re already stressed or overworked, saying yes to even loved ones or coworkers can lead to burnout, anxiety, and irritability. Be realistic about how much you can handle at once.

 4.      Taking a self-care trip can make a huge difference in your life. Getting away for a weekend every now and then can help you disconnect, relax and feel recharged. A change of scenery and a little fun can really help improve motivation and productivity throughout your lifestyle.

 5.      Schedule time for self-care and stick to it. Improving or maintaining both your mental and physical health by taking the time to focus on your needs is not a selfish task. Anything that improves your mood, makes you happy or feel a little better is worth spending the time doing. The more you can work self-care time into your schedule, the better you’ll be able to thrive and be happy.


Positivity and Mental Health

on Thursday, 11 July 2019.

Positivity and Mental Health

A new field suggests choosing to focus on the positive in all situations can combat mental illness. The science of happiness, or positive psychology has opened a new way of looking into problems. It recognizes happiness and wellbeing as an “essential” human skill. Choosing and practicing positivity is simple through these actions.

1.Learn from negativity.

Negative encounters can teach plenty of positives. Past experiences make a person more resilient to stress. When we eventually overcome the challenge, we become more aware and thankful of the things and people we have. 

2.Practicing gratitude

Gratitude is a great way to better you, but also bring an ease of mind. Just list the people and the things you are grateful for, or take time to show or say your thankfulness to someone aloud. This can bring self-peace. If you choose this activity daily, consider gratitude journaling, visits or notes.

3.Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Happiness does benefit your lifestyle, but research also shows how putting a healthy lifestyle in place can create happiness too. A positive lifestyle can act as a natural healing mechanism. Positivity helps the body rid harmful toxins and can lead to lesser susceptibility to illness and psychological distress.

4.Monitor your mood

Your thoughts and actions are dependent on your mood. If your moods tend to be inconsistent, try tracking them. Research suggests mood charts are a great way to track your ups and downs, and later understand why we act and feel the way we do. These can later lead to a more consistent mood and stronger ability to combat stress.




on Tuesday, 25 June 2019.


Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. This could be a natural disaster, serious accident, terrorist act, war/combat event or violent assault, among numerous other things.

PTSD has been called “shell shock” during the years of World War I and “combat fatigue” after World War II, but PTSD does not only affect combat veterans.

PTSD can occur in anyone of all ethnicities, nationalities or cultures at any age. PTSD affects approximately 3.5 percent of U.S. adults, and an estimated 1 in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime. Women are twice as likely as men to have PTSD.

PTSD has many misconceptions surrounding the disease that can keep those with it from becoming healthy again. These myths can easily be debunked.

Myth 1: I’ll be forced to discuss bad memories at therapy.

Discussing trauma when symptoms are not contained can worsen symptoms and cause further psychological damage. The first step of trauma therapy includes learning how to contain or manage symptoms.

This is done through a personalized combination of treatments such as learning about the symptoms of PTSD, grounding exercises, creative expression, art and sometimes medication. Once individuals learn how to manage their symptoms, most will want to talk about specific memories. Therapists can aid this process.

Myth 2: It happened a long time ago, and I should be over it.

Brain function changes after trauma. Our fight-or-flight response is stuck on at all times for those with PTSD. Because the brain is stuck in stress overload, mental health must first be cared for before worrying about “moving on.” If PTSD is not addressed, attempts at self-medication or “moving on” are not likely to be successful.

Myth 3: I will never be able to recover.

This is simply not true. People who have experienced even the most intense traumas have been able to go on to lead happy, fulfilling lives. It is important to keep in mind that PTSD is a natural reaction to abnormal stress just as bleeding is a natural reaction for an open wound.

The mind and psyche can heal just as the body can. Healing takes time, in-depth personal work and dedication to treatment. However, healing does not mean the past disappears as a physical wound would, but rather that the past no longer has the power to dominate the present.

Resources For Seeking Mental Health Help

on Tuesday, 18 June 2019.

Resources For Seeking Mental Health Help


Mental-health disorders are more common than you think – and often treatable. Approximately 1 in 5 adults in America are diagnosed with a mental-health illness each year. Seeking help and finding resources for support and care are important to live a healthy lifestyle.

Where to Start

The nature of the problem and/or its symptoms and age (adult or child) will determine where you need to go for help. Often, the best place to start is your local mental health organization, or your primary care doctor can usually forward you to a suggested psychologist or psychiatrist. The ITM Group can certainly be one of those referral points.

First Steps

  • Referrals can come from your family doctor, clergy or local Mental Health America office (which also may provide mental health care services) and crisis centers.
  • Your insurance company can provide a list of providers who are in your plan.
  • Eligible veterans can get care through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
    • For more info:
    • Or call 1-877-222-8387
  • You can find affordable mental-health services through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
    • For more info:
    • Or call 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
  • Your local health department’s mental health division or community mental health center provides free or low-cost treatment and services to those who meet certain criteria.
  • Medicare offers a list of participating doctors on its website.

Choosing a Mental Health Professional

  • Psychiatrist: A medical doctor with special training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional illnesses. Psychiatrists are qualified to prescribe medication.
  • Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist: A medical doctor specially trained in the diagnosis and treatment of emotional and behavioral problems in children.
  • Psychologist: A professional with a Doctoral degree in psychology, two years of supervised professional experience and is trained to make diagnoses and provide individual or group therapy.
  • Clinical Social Worker: A counselor with a Master’s degree in social work trained to make diagnoses and provide individual and group counseling.
  • Licensed Professional Counselor: A counselor with a Master’s degree in psychology, counseling or a related field that is trained to diagnose and provide individual or group counseling.
  • Mental Health Counselor: A counselor with a Master’s degree and several years of supervised clinical work experience trained to diagnose and provide individual or group counseling.
  • Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor: A counselor with specific clinical training in alcohol and drug abuse trained to diagnose and provide individual or group counseling.


 Next Steps

Make sure to interview your options. You want to find the best person to help you find success with your mental health. Ask about their approach to care, their philosophy and specialties. Overall, find someone you’re comfortable with.

Make an appointment and be honest about your symptoms and side effects. This info will best help professionals diagnose you properly to know how to get you healthy again. Again, the ITM Group is ready to work with any people dealing with mental-health issues.


Mental and Physical Health

on Tuesday, 28 May 2019.

Mental and Physical Health

Health of the body and mind are two separate categories that often intertwine. Poor physical health can increase risk of developing a mental illness. In comparison, low mental health can cause failing physical health. Incorporating certain lifestyle factors can impact the state of both health factors.


Physical activity doesn’t only mean going to the gym. Going for walks around the neighborhood or playing a game of soccer is great to do on a daily basis – anything to get moving. Exercise has positive impacts on both mental and physical health while releasing feel-good endorphins.


Good nutrition is crucial to positive health. A balanced diet includes healthy amounts of proteins, essential fats and complex carbohydrates. The food we eat plays a major role in developing or preventing mental health issues – including depression and Alzheimer’s.


Smoking negatively impacts both health categories. Many believe smoking relieves mental health symptoms, though these are only short-term.

  • People with depression are two times as likely to smoke as other people.
  • People with schizophrenia are three times as likely to smoke as other people.
  • Nicotine interferes with brain chemicals - Temporarily raises dopamine levels, but while switching off the brain from making more

Two Worlds Combine

The promotion of positive mental health can often be overlooked when treating a physical condition. Psoriasis is a condition in which mental and physical health play hand-in-hand.

Psoriasis is a condition that is commonly characterized by red flaky sores on the surface of the skin, but its effects go beyond the visual signs and symptoms. It is an autoimmune condition commonly triggered by stress. It affects 8 million people in the United States and can impact emotional and physical well-being.

The physical and psychological impacts can be cyclically linked: the condition can cause emotional distress, which can trigger a psoriasis flare and, as a result, cause further distress.

For a positive, healthy future, be sure to tend to the health of both your body and mind. Your mental and physical health play a hand-in-hand role in your life that equally need to be tended to.

The Differences Between an Emotional Support Animal, Service Dog and Therapy Dog

on Monday, 13 May 2019.

The Differences Between an Emotional Support Animal, Service Dog and Therapy Dog

Emotional Support Animals (ESA) are animals that accompany a human with a mental, emotional or psychological disability. ESAs are most commonly dogs or cats, but differing cases show other animals being the solution, such as a horse or rabbit.

Emotional support animals have to be prescribed by a doctor. A therapist, psychiatrist, psychologist or any licensed mental health professional must determine that a person needs to have a companion to alleviate side effects from a condition.

Emotional support animals or emotional support dogs do not have any special training, as the law does not require it. Their primary goal is to provide emotional comfort, companionship and affection to their owner. An ESA’s presence alone should bring the owner a feeling of friendship and support at all times to better operate various difficulties or conditions. ESAs are more than household pets because of the purpose they serve.

Emotional support dogs and cats are lawful exceptions to “no pets policy” housing contracts and entrance to an airplane cabin. Proof of a letter from a licensed mental health professional is needed to obtain clearance.

In contrast, service dogs are highly trained. They have to fulfill a need or action to accompany their master’s limitations, such as a physical impairment or blindness. Service animals learn to do tasks like push wheelchairs, guide the blind or alert if a medical condition is flaring up. Service dogs are permitted to accompany their owners at all times, anywhere.

Though therapy dogs are also highly trained, they are taught to be more social to adjust to various people and environments. Therapy dogs can be found at hospitals, schools or places needing a psychologically calming presence. These animals do not have the access that service and emotional support dogs have.

Why Students Are Stressed

on Saturday, 27 April 2019.

Why Students Are Stressed

With it being finals season for most college and high school students around the nation, it is important to talk about why their stress levels are so high and what they can do to manage them.

Although school may be, in fact the best time of your life, it is also one of the most stressful. That is because school is meant to prepare you for the next step in your life, whether that be graduate school or a career. On top of that, for college students, they are struggling with the fact that they are away from home and family. That can be a lot for these 18-24-year olds, especially when they are also developing physically and, in the meantime, trying to fit some fun memories in the mix.

All of this together can be overwhelming and can really take a toll on anyone’s life. To make matters even worse, most college students fall victim to the terrible freshman 15 (weight gain), because they are away from home cooking and on a budget so the food they are putting in their bodies tends to not be healthy or nutritious. This adds to the increased stress on their bodies.

Aside from the suggestions of drinking water in copious amounts and eating healthy foods, students should take the time to do healthy things that they like to help them de-stress. These activities can be anything from going to the gym to reading a book or drawing a picture.

Engagement in healthy things that students enjoy and that help them escape from the things that stress them out, even if it is only for moments at a time, will go a long way in assisting them in relieving their stress and also possibly lead to them doing better on their tests simultaneously.

The Downside to Social Media Use by Teens and Young Adults

on Thursday, 11 April 2019.

The Downside to Social Media Use by Teens and Young Adults


While teens can use social media to connect and create friendships with others, they also confront obstacles that can affect their mental health. Too much time spent scrolling through social media can result in symptoms of anxiety and/or depression. Other destructive aspects include:

  • Focusing on likes: The need to gain “likes” on social media can cause teens to make choices they would otherwise not make. This includes altering their appearance, engaging in negative behaviors and accepting risky social media challenges. Many start to feel they’re only as “liked” as their social profiles show, which is a ridiculous notion.
  • Cyberbullying: Teens girls in particular are at risk of cyberbullying through use of social media, though boys are not immune. Cyberbullying typically looks like someone being attacked by others online, usually making fun of their looks, and left on the social media platform to embarrass the culprit publicly. This type of bullying is associated with depression, anxiety and an elevated risk of suicidal thoughts.
  • Making comparisons: Though many teens know that their peers share only their highlight reels on social media, it’s very difficult to avoid making comparisons. Everything from physical appearance to life circumstances to perceived successes and failures are under a microscope on social media. Many find themselves comparing their lives to the image that other people show their life as. It’s important to note that people usually only share their best selves online, and not their daily struggles or disappointments. Social media is a sculpted look into one’s life, not the real image.
  • Having too many fake friends: Even with privacy settings in place, teens can collect thousands of friends through friends of friends on social media. The more people on the friend list, the more people that have access to photos, snaps and updates, and use them for other purposes. For this reason, many have little to no privacy on social media without realizing what they’ve given up. It’s important to keep up with your following list to know who is looking in on your life. Clear it out consistently to retain some sort of privacy amongst those you trust.
  • Less face time: Social interaction skills require daily practice, even for teens. By engaging online vs. face-to-face, it becomes difficult to learn important emotions, such as compassion and empathy. Human connection is a powerful tool and builds skills that last a lifetime.

There’s a happy medium in here somewhere. The key to helping teens learn to balance social media with real life friendships is to communicate. Honest communication shows your support, not to judge or lecture. It’s also important to walk the walk. Disconnect on weekends and show your teen that there is a whole world out there that doesn’t require a handheld screen. By learning to step away and take breaks, teens can learn how to not let social media affect their everyday, real lives.


Mental Health vs. Mental Illness

on Wednesday, 27 March 2019.

Mental Health vs. Mental Illness

During a lifetime, not all people will experience a mental illness, but everyone will struggle or have a challenge with the well-being of their mental health, just like we all have challenges with our physical well-being from time to time. “Mental health” and “mental illness” are increasingly being used as if they mean the same thing, but they do not. Everyone has mental health, just like everyone has health.

When discussing mental health, we’re referring to our mental well-being: our emotions, thoughts, feelings, ability to solve problems and overcome difficulties, social connections and our understanding of the world around us.

A mental illness is an illness the affects that way people think, feel, behave or interact with others. There are many different mental illnesses, and they have different symptoms that impact people’s lives in different ways.

Just as someone who feels unwell may not have a serious illness, people may have poor mental health without a mental illness. We all have days where we feel a bit down, stressed out or overwhelmed by something that’s happening in our lives. An important part of good mental health is the ability to look at problems or concerns realistically. Good mental health isn’t about feeling happy and confident 100 percent of the time and ignoring any problems. It’s about living and coping well despite challenges or obstacles.

Just as it’s possible to have poor mental health but no mental illness, it’s entirely possible to have good mental health even with a diagnosis of a mental illness. That’s because mental illnesses (like other health problems) are often episodic, meaning there are times (episodes) of ill health and times of better or good health.

With the right support and tools, anyone can live well – however they define well – and find meaning, contribute to their communities and work toward their goals.

Tips for Balancing a Hectic Schedule

on Wednesday, 20 March 2019.

Tips for Balancing a Hectic Schedule

Having time management skills is a much more difficult task then it sounds like. Trying to juggle school, work, family and a social life can become overwhelming very quickly. Actively setting your schedule up for success will not only help you balance multiple responsibilities, but prevent your schedule from taking an emotional impact on your mental health.

Don’t over commit

There are only so many hours in a day; you can’t do it all. Prioritize things that are most important to you to get done or take part in. Never let yourself feel guilty for telling your friends that you’re going to stay in vs. getting drinks tonight to catch up on your studies or rest. If you commit to too many obligations, it becomes impossible to complete them all, setting yourself up for a stressful situation.

Stay faithful to your schedule

Make a schedule and stick to it. What’s the point in spending time on a schedule if you’re constantly going to break it? If you’re struggling to manage your time, plan out every hour of your day. Give yourself time for things like travel and social breaks; be honest about how long tasks take you. Be sure to block out space in your schedule in case a task goes over the time you allotted for it. It’s better to run ahead of schedule vs. running behind. Keeping a planner, agenda or utilizing your phone's calendars and apps are a great ways to keep track of your day and ensure you don't over book yourself.

Social lives can’t take center stage

When busy or stressed, it becomes very tempting to drop your entire schedule to take a break with friends or binge-watch Netflix. Though breaks are important for emotional and mental stability, caving like this can lead to further issues. Fight the urge to stop and take care of business first. Breaks feel much more relaxing when there isn’t the fear of an uncompleted task in mind. Going to work or class unprepared because you felt like watching TV instead will never be an accepted excuse.

Don’t push yourself too hard

Though sometimes it’s empowering to push our limits of productivity, it’s not healthy to do everyday. If you are spreading yourself thin as is, you can become irritable or grumpy from being exhausted all the time. Make time in your schedule for sleep – it’s important.

Accomplishing tasks, especially amongst a busy schedule, can be very satisfying. If you don’t take the time to manage a busy schedule, it can take a toll on not only your productivity, but your emotions and mental health as well. Being busy is great, but don’t let it overtake your entire life. Schedule yourself some free time. You deserve it!

How to Help a Friend with Mental Illness

on Friday, 15 February 2019.

How to Help a Friend with Mental Illness

Part of being a good friend is being there for them when you notice that something is wrong. For many, this includes helping friends find the support they need when they’re experiencing a decline in mental health. Though this may seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be if you know how to spot symptoms early and are aware of resources available to help.

Symptoms of Mental Illness

We all have bad days. Unexpected curve balls are always thrown our way, and it’s normal to be emotional or sad during upsetting times. If you feel that a friend isn’t reacting normally to obstacles or completely shutting down, something more serious could be happening. Some signs of a mental illness include:

·         Withdrawing from social activities and being down for more than two weeks.

·         Overwhelming fear for no reason.

·         Severe mood swings.

·         Not eating, throwing up or using laxatives when unneeded.

·         Self- harming such as cutting or burning.

·         Out-of-control risk-taking behavior.

·         Difficulty in following through with plans.

·         Drastic change in behavior or personality.

·         Out-of-hand sleeping habits.

What You Can Do to Help

Everyone is different and does not heal or cope in the same way. What worked for you or a friend in the past may not be helpful to a friend struggling currently. A few different ways you can help are:

Share Your Concerns

Share your observations with your friend. Focus on being nonjudgmental, compassionate and understanding. Use “I” instead of “you” comments to get the conversation started.

  • I’ve noticed you’re (sleeping more, eating less, etc.). Is everything okay?
  • I've noticed that you haven't been acting like yourself lately. Is something going on?

Reach Out to Those You Trust

When a friend is in need, you don’t need to do it alone. Try involving others who can help or are understanding of the situation your friend is in. However, your friend may become concerned when you begin to involve others, so make sure they’re aware and okay with you reaching out before you do. However, if it’s an emergency, you should always call 911 or alert an authority figure. Others you could reach out to include:

·         Friends and family

·         Teachers and counselors

·         Faith-based leaders

·         Coaches

Offer Your Support

Keep in mind that you cannot force someone to get help or be ready to discuss what he or she is going through. Do your best to be there with your support and be ready if and when they do finally reach out. It may be helpful to offer specific things that might help, such as:

  • How can I best support you right now?
  • Is there something I can do or can we involve others who can help?
  • Can I help you find mental health services and supports? Can I help you make an appointment?
  • Can I help you with the stuff you need to get done until you’re feeling better?

You can be the difference in helping a friend who needs support but is too afraid to seek help. Being a friend means being there in the good times and bad. Sometimes, simply talking or supporting a friend is the only push they need to get through a difficult time. By being aware of symptoms and resources of mental illness, you can be prepared to effectively help a friend in need.

The Importance of Sleep

on Monday, 21 January 2019.

The Importance of Sleep

Are you getting enough sleep? Approximately one in three American adults aren’t, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). Lack of sleep can have many negative impacts on your body. Without enough hours logged under the covers, the consequences can become more intense.

1. Weight Gain

Lack of sleep can make it much simpler to pack on pounds more quickly. A new study focused on the relationship between sleep and weight gain in more than 21,000 adults over the age of 20. Those who slept less than five hours a night over the three-year study were more likely to gain weight, many eventually becoming obese, versus those who slept seven-to-eight hours nightly.

2. Beauty Sleep 

Your appearance can be impacted by a lack of sleep. A recent study examined people between ages 30 and 50, and evaluated the correlation between the condition of their skin and the number of hours they slept per night. Those with little sleep showed more fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone and looseness of the skin.

3. Accident Prone 

According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), you’re three times more likely to get in a car accident if you’re running on less than six hours of sleep. Those who work long or odd hours, such as shift workers or commercial drivers, should think twice before getting behind the wheel if they’re low on sleep.

In closing, getting enough sleep is a very important part of your health. Though not mentioned above, lack of sleep can also lower your sex drive, weaken your immune system, make you forgetful and increase your risk of cancer and diabetes.

Before binge-watching that new season on Netflix or playing video games until the early morning hours, think about your health. Getting seven-to-eight hours of sleep a night is not only important to feel well rested, it can save your life.


3 Bad Habits That Are Draining Your Productivity

on Wednesday, 09 January 2019.

3 Bad Habits That Are Draining Your Productivity

Many factors play into affecting your productivity. Your time management skills and obligations play a role, but many don’t realize that their personal habits can be their own worse enemy for maintaining a productive day.


1.                  Putting things off.

It’s easy when you don’t like doing a certain job to continually put it off. The problem is that it can cause a lot of unneeded, preventable stress, affecting your productivity.

To combat this, try to do those projects first and get them out of the way. Or, you might delegate them to someone else if you are able to do so. The fear of the task alone can cause us to put it off. Though, most of the time we find that we hyped up a challenge to be worse than it actually was.

2.                  Multi-tasking.

Multi-tasking doesn’t always speed you up to get more done. In fact, in many ways, multitasking slows you down. Although it may not seem like a bad habit at first glance, it can be easily used at the wrong times.

There are small ways multitasking can help you save time. For instance, you can start your computer while you get your coffee. Or, you can go through mail while listening to voicemail messages.

But in general, switching between tasks slows down your work. The greater the complexity of the work you’re doing, the longer it takes to adjust to the new task. The more time it takes, the less productive you are.

3.                  Being too frugal.

In reality, frugality is usually a good thing. The exception is when it slows down your productivity.


If you won’t spend the money to upgrade your computer after it continually breaks down, it could slow down your work. Using your money wisely is important. But, investing in tools you need to be the most productive you can be could more than replace the money spent.

Holiday Stress

on Wednesday, 12 December 2018.

Holiday Stress

Hidden by association with relaxation, leisure and joy, the holidays can be a major cause of stress for many.  With the holiday season upon us, you may already be feeling the tension.

Where does holiday stress come from? The answer may lie in the fact that many often hold higher expectations for the holidays compared to other times of the year. The hopes of picture-perfect occasions filled with stress-free family time are often an unreasonable dream.

Stress can also be felt during the intricate planning most endure to prepare for the holidays, as well as feeling pressured to buy expensive gifts. The stress begins to grow, unless you prepare for it.

If you are concerned that the upcoming holiday season will be stressful for you, there are steps you can take to prevent stress.

First, contemplate if your holiday expectations are realistic. If you set unreasonably high expectations for yourself or others, you will feel defeated early on when things don’t go perfectly. Set small, reachable goals. If you fall short, don’t despair; take joy in the expectations that you did meet.

When planning for the holidays, you can avoid stress by setting a spending limit (and sticking to it), creating to-do lists, sharing the responsibilities with other people and not taking on too many tasks.

But, it’s not just the planning that causes stress; the events themselves can be sources of stress. During the holidays, remember to designate time for yourself apart from the group activities. Too much time with others can overwhelm you and cause you to forget about your own needs.

The holidays can be a fun time, so remember to enjoy them! Take care of yourself and look forward to the positive aspects of the season.

Three Reasons Why Getting Sleep Is Crucial

on Thursday, 15 November 2018.

Three Reasons Why Getting Sleep Is Crucial

A good night’s sleep plays as big of a role in your health as diet and exercise. Sadly, people are now sleeping less while also lowering their quality of sleep. This can be harmful to many aspects of your life, making sleep a crucial part of your routine.

Lack of sleep is commonly a sign of other issues, often related to mental health.

Three reasons why you need a quality sleep schedule:

1.      Improved Concentration and Productivity

Sleep is needed to carry out various brain functions including concentration and productivity. In a recent study of medical interns, those with less sleep were 36 percent more likely to make an error than those with an adequate amount of sleep. With improper sleep, your body can completely shut down various brain functions, making normal tasks very difficult.

2.      Eating Fewer Calories

Studies have shown that individuals deprived of sleep have a bigger appetite and consume more calories. Sleep deprivation disrupts an individual’s appetite hormones, causing fluctuations in hunger. This includes higher levels of ghrelin, the hormone that initiates hunger, and reduced levels of leptin, the hormone that suppresses appetite.

3.     Protecting Your Immune System

Even a small loss of sleep has been shown to affect your immune system in significant ways. A recent study monitored a group of people who were intentionally given the flu virus. Those with inadequate sleep – less than seven hours a night – were three times more likely to develop the flu or a cold than those who slept eight or more hours. If you’re already prone to getting colds, committing to a full night’s sleep can help prevent this issue.

Sleeping is linked to many other concerns, including depression, risk of stroke or controlling emotions or social interactions. Regardless, the cons outweigh the pros. Get a good night’s sleep to not only prepare for a new day, but to also protect yourself from harming many personal, body functions.

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