Sleep is very important. There is more at stake with having inadequate sleep than just the difficulty of waking up in the morning and being late for work and appointment. Lack of sleep also causes several health conditions that you should not neglect.
1. Causes depression
Lack of sleep for an extended period of time is found to have a link to depression. According to a study on 10,000 people conducted last 2007, people who lack sleep especially those with sleeping disorder like insomnia are five times more prone to developing depression. Additionally, sleeping disorder and depression can aggravate each other because depression can cause sleeping disorder and sleeping disorder can cause depression.
2. Impairs cognitive process
Lack of sleep in the night can greatly affect your performance during the day. It will impair your memory, concentration, alertness, reasoning, judgment, problem solving skills, and attention.
3. Hastens aging
After days lacking sleep, your skin will start to become dry and you will start to develop fine lines, puffy eyes, and dark circles around your eyes which will cause you to look older than your age. This is because the body releases stress hormones called cortisol when the body lacks sleep. An excessive amount of cortisol breaks down the collagen in the skin which makes the skin elastic and smooth.
4. Suppresses growth
When the body lacks sleep, the body reduces the amount of growth hormones it releases, suppressing growth in the early years. For older people, it will affect the body’s ability to increase muscle mass and keep the bones strong.
5. Makes you gain weight
A study conducted in 2004 shows a connection between lack of sleep and obesity. Sleep of less than six hours a day causes people to have increased appetite for food making them more likely to gain weight.
6. Increases risk of death
A British study published in 2007 shows that people who habitually have seven or fewer hours of sleep a day have an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease and other causes.
7. Increases risk of developing diabetes
Sleep deprivation or lack of sleep is connected to a higher risk of developing diabetes. This is because the body reacts to lack of sleep as insulin resistance. Insulin breaks down glucose for energy. If the body resists insulin, it will not be efficient in breaking down glucose sugar which in turn results in a higher level of sugar in the blood.
8. Lack of sleep is one major cause of accidents
Because lack of sleep can affect the cognitive process of a person such as concentration, people who lack sleep are also more prone to accidents especially accidents on the street. Lack of sleep causes drowsiness during the day and drowsiness slows down reaction time just like driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the United States estimated that around 100,000 car crashes resulting to more than 1,500 deaths related to crashes every year can be attributed to drowsiness. The same is true with accidents on the job.
These are disconcerting reasons why you should definitely avoid cutting down on your sleeping time to an amount inadequate for your age.
Here are the recommended hours of sleep a day for every person according to helpguide.org:
0 to 2 months old – 12-18 hours
3 months to 1 year old – 14-15 hours
1 to 3 years old – 12-14 hours
3 to 5 years old – 11-13 hours
5 to 12 years old – 10-11 hours
12 to 18 years old – 8.5-10 hours
Adults (18 years and up) – 7.5-9 hours