Why Is A Lack of Sleep Bad for Your Health?
If your health is downgrading, maybe lack of sleep is the cause. Find out with our dedicated sleep team at Koala® Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders. Call us today or visit us online to book an appointment. We have convenient locations across the U.S. in Bloomington IL, Peoria – Dunlap IL, Lafayette IN, Mishawaka IN, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX and Wausau WI.
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We all know that a good night’s sleep is essential for our health, but many of us do not realize that not getting enough shut-eye can cause a range of health problems, from headaches and irritability to heart disease and high blood pressure. That is because a lack of sleep causes our bodies to produce extra amounts of stress hormones such as cortisol, which can lead to inflammation, a known cause of many diseases. It is not only important to get enough sleep, but also to get a good quality of sleep; six hours of deep, quality sleep is often more refreshing and rejuvenating than 9 hours of light, interrupted sleep.
Our bodies need sleep. Without enough sleep, not only will we feel groggy and tired, but we will also find that we are unable to concentrate, which has a huge impact on productivity. When we are tired, our ability to think clearly is diminished and we are more likely to make mistakes. Productivity is also affected because we are less likely to want to work when we are feeling tired. Furthermore, people who do not get enough sleep are also more emotionally sensitive and often feel cranky, anxious, and stressed out, even from minute things. A lack of sleep negatively affects concentration and increases brain fog. Losing just a few hours of sleep can have a powerful impact on our ability to think and perform rudimentary functions.
The signs of lack of sleep vary from one person to the next but most commonly include excessive daytime sleepiness and diurnal impairment such as diminished cognitive function, reduced concentration, slow reaction times, emotional disturbances and mood changes. One of the hallmark signs of sleep deprivation is feeling extremely tired during the day, also known as daytime fatigue. Symptoms of sleep deprivation include:
– Feeling excessively tired during the day
– Difficulty getting out of bed
– Taking micro-naps
– Slowed thinking
– Reduced attention span
– Worsened memory
– Poor or risky decision-making
– Lack of energy
Mood changes, including:
– feelings of stress
The amount of sleep someone needs each night varies depending on several factors, the most significant being age; based on their age, people should get the following hours of sleep per night:
– Infants — 12 to 16 hours (including naps)
– Toddlers — 11 to 14 hours (including naps)
– Young Children (aged 3 to 5) — 10 to 13 hours
– Children (aged 6 to 12) — 9 to 12 hours
– Teenagers (13 – 18) — 8 to 10 hours
– Adults — 7 or more hours
Other factors can also affect how many hours of sleep are needed each night, including:
– Sleep Quality — Sleep quality refers to the restfulness associated with deeper stages of sleep; if sleep is frequently interrupted, the quality of sleep is negatively affected.
– Previous Sleep Deprivation — When an individual is sleep-deprived, the amount of sleep they need increases, a state known as sleep debt.
– Pregnancy — The changes in hormone levels and physical discomfort associated with pregnancy can negatively impede the quality of sleep.
– Aging — Older adults need about the same amount of sleep as younger adults, but with age, sleeping patterns often change. Changes to sleeping patterns seen in older adults include a tendency to sleep more lightly, taking longer to fall asleep, sleeping for shorter time spans, and waking up multiple times during the night.
If you are not getting enough sleep, come to Koala® Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders for professional care. We serve patients from all across the United States.