Top Four consequences of sleep deprivation
Sleeping is becoming a smaller part of everyone’s day as many people are trying to get more done and stay up late working, while others are too busy surfing through their social media feed and forget that it’s way past their bed time. Unfortunately, it’s not just dreams we are losing when we choose not to go to bed, but there are many other negative consequences of sleep deprivation including various health problems:
- higher chances of cardiovascular diseases;
- weakened immune system;
- back and neck pain;
- higher level of stress and increased likelihood of moodiness, anxiety and other psychological issues.
Messing with one’s circadian rhythms might actually be dangerous and it is best to listen to your body and mind, and go to bed, when you feel sleepy.
How much sleep do we need to be healthy and productive the next day?
As sleep is essential to our well-being it is not a question of whether we should sleep or not, but rather how much sleep do we need to be healthy and productive the next day?
It depends! Mainly, the length of your sleep depends on your age, as kids, adults and the elderly are in different stages of development and lead completely different lives, which means that they would need more or less rest than others. Fortunately, there is consensus among researchers over how many hours of sleep is usually needed, based on one’s age. Harvard Medical school recommends 7 to 9 hours of sleep for adults, which should be sufficient for your mind and body to have a proper rest and start the next day well. National Sleep Foundation provides the following recommendations for the amount of shut-eye needed for different age groups:
- Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours/day
- Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours/day
- Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours/day
- Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours/day
- School age children (6-13): 9-11 hours/day
- Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours/day
- Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours/day
- Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours/day
- Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours/day
Health professionals recommendation regarding healthy amount of sleep
Doctors agree on the fact that a healthy amount of sleep helps you start off the next day well and lead a healthy lifestyle. However, it’s not just the number of hours between the moment you lay your head on your pillow and your alarm kicks you out from your bed, the quality of your sleep also matters. It is important to sleep on a comfortable mattress and neck pillow, which would help you fall asleep smoothly and guarantee your back getting good rest.
Researchers also recommend that you do not look at the screens of your electronic devices for at least an hour before going to bed, as the blue light that they generate, keeps your mind engaged and suppresses melatonin that controls your sleeping cycle and ensures you are getting a healthy sleep. It is also best to have a regular sleep schedule and go to bed and wake up at set times, which will train your body to respect this ritual and you will minimize the difficulty of falling asleep.
In conclusion, even though sleeping on a comfortable neck pillow under your favorite blanket does not sound as sexy as pulling an all-nighter working or hanging out with your buddies at a club, a proper sleeping routine goes a long way in keeping you healthy, happy and successful.