It’s very important to sleep well every night. Sleep is something that we all need to have in order to be healthy. Only several hours a night aren’t enough for your brain and body to rest.
During our sleep, our brain goes through every memory. It then deletes what is unimportant and we have more space for some new information. If we don’t sleep enough, we’ll have problems with our mood, decision-making, concentration, creativity and memory.
Not sleeping enough will affect every system and every organ in our body. Our health will become endangered.
Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Health
Central Nervous System – our mood, memory, concentration etc. become affected. Eventually, we obtain insomnia that leads to depression, paranoia, hallucinations and impulsive behavior.
Immune System – our immune system becomes weakened significantly. We become prone to illnesses and diseases, but also some chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.
Respiratory System – chronic lung illness becomes worsened as well as the risk of many respiratory infections like the flu and different colds.
Digestive System – the levels of insulin might become increased and we could have a promoted weight gain. Fat will be stored more and the risk of obtaining type 2 diabetes will be increased.
Cardiovascular System – any inflammation, our blood sugar as well as our blood pressure will be affected. The risk of stroke, heart attack and cardiovascular problems becomes increased.
Endocrine System – the growth hormones and their production become affected and this especially happens in teenagers and children.
Guidelines for Sleep Hours
According to some experts, we need at least 8 hours of quality sleep every night, but this can still vary depending on how old you are. Some researchers under the guidance of professor Charles Czeisler decided to perform a research on this.
Their research included experiments on different age groups. They had to determine the proper amount of sleep for every single one of them. They also wanted to discover the effects the lack of sleep had on their mind and body.
These are the data they found:
- The age group of 0 to 3 months, or newborns should sleep from 14 to 17 hours;
- Babies from 4 to 11 months should sleep from 12 to 15 hours;
- Children aged 1 or 2 should sleep from 11 to 14 hours;
- Children aged 3 to 5 years should sleep from 10 to 13 hours;
- Children aged 6 to 13 years should sleep from 9 to 11 hours;
- Children aged 14 to 17 years or teenagers should sleep from 8 to 10 hours;
- Young people from 18 to 25 years should sleep from 7 to 9 hours;
- Adults from 26 to 64 should sleep from 7 to 9 hours;
- Seniors over 65 should sleep from 7 to 8 hours.
How to Catch Up on Lost Sleep
The only way you can use to compensate for the lost sleep is to get more sleep! You’ll take several nights and maybe several weeks in case you have been deprived from sleeping for months.
Try this at the weekend: add 1 or 2 hours a night. After that, you should try the adjust the hours by your own age group.
Try to avoid caffeine or energy drinks that would keep you focused or awake throughout the day. They will increase your energy and concentration temporarily, but they will also affect your sleep for a long period of time!