Thank God it is Friday! Although every day we get to walk the earth is a blessing, there is just something extra special about Fridays. 🙂 I hope you all have a great day and a wonderful weekend.
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) has given the undermentioned guideline for appropriate sleep durations for specific age groups below:
- Newborns (0 to 3 months): 14 to 17 hours each day
- Infants (4 to 11 months): 12 to 15 hours
- Toddlers (1 to 2 years): 11 to 14 hours
- Preschoolers (3 to 5 years): 10 to 13 hours
- School-age children (6 to 13 years): 9 to 11 hours
- Teenagers (14 to 17 years): 8 to 10 hours
- Adults (18 to 64 years): 7 to 9 hours
- Older adults (over 65 years): 7 to 8 hours
However, for many of us, sleep feels like a stranger to us because we just aren’t getting nearly enough of it. Today, we’ll examine why sleep is important and how lack of sleep can harm us.
What is sleep?
Sleep refers to the condition that occurs when the mind and body is at rest. During this state all voluntary movements and full consciousness are temporarily suspended.
What can cause sleep loss?
There are many factors that can contribute to lack of sleep some include:
- Family obligations
- Exam preparations (where you’re up burning the midnight oil),
- Sleep disorder
- Demanding job
- Type of job (shift work)
- Excessive gaming
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Feelings of stress
- Hormone imbalances
- Chronic illness
Some possible consequences of lack of sleep include:
- Increased risk for weight gain
- Negatively affects the ability to learn and concentrate
- Hinders our productivity
- Increase risk for heart disease and stroke
- Negatively affect the metabolism
- Increase risk for Type 2 diabetes
- Linked to depression
- Excessive yawning
- Impair immune function
- Lack of motivation
- Affect the body’s inflammatory responses
- Sleep loss ages your skin
- Negatively affect emotions increasing irritability and moodiness
- Increases risk for accidents such as road accidents, medical errors, other workplace accidents, etc.
- Reduce sex drive
Some possible benefits of sleep include:
- Allows for the healing of damaged cells
- Gives the immune system a boost
- Allows the body to recover from the activities of the day
- Recharges the heart and cardiovascular system
- Improves the memory
- Improves the brain’s ability to concentrate
- Reduce inflammation
- Improve productivity
- Promote a healthier weight
- Balance hormones
- Improve skin health
- Helps remove toxins from the brain
- Maximize athletic performance
- Steer clear of depression
- Reduce feelings of stress
- Reduce the risk of accidents related to sleep deprivation
Sleep therefore, is more than just the body needing to rest. Sleep allows for restoration, healing and balance. It is literally, the body’s reset and refresh buttons.
However, it should be noted that although too little sleep can be harmful to health, too much sleep can also be just as damaging. Some side effects of over sleeping include: higher risk for heart disease, more likely to struggle with weight issues, may develop diabetes, trouble concentrating and even increased risk of dying prematurely although no specific correlation has been determined.
Going forward, we should not simply see sleep as an option on your To- Do-List but make it a priority. Of course, keeping in mind that it is not something that should be regularly abused by taking more than we need. We need to strive for balance and use the sleep guide above to help us and those we love get the rest that we need. Adequate sleep could mean the difference between a healthy, happy life and an unhealthy and unhappy one.
Good health and overall wellness is not just limited to good nutrition and exercise but clearly our sleeping patterns as well.
Have a wonderful day and an amazing weekend. Don’t forget to get enough sleep. 🙂
God bless each of you.
Thank you for making this blog one of your stops on this journey called life.