Sleep shouldn’t be a luxury; it’s just as important to physical and mental health as food and water.
Chronic sleep deprivation has been shown to increase the risk of serious diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. It can also affect your immune system, reducing your body’s ability to fight infections and disease.
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How much sleep do we need? How many hours should we sleep?
Our sleep habits, as well as our sleep needs, change as we age.
According to the National Sleep Foundation’s guidelines, you should aim to sleep by age:
– over 65 years old – 7-8 hours
– from 18 to 64 years old – from 7 to 9 hours
– from 14 to 17 years old – 8 and 10 hours
– from 6 to 13 years old – 9 and 11 hours
Young children need sleep even more. Many children achieve their sleep goals through daytime naps.
– from 3 to 5 years – 10-13 hours
– from 1 to 2 years – 11-14 hours
– 4 to 11 months – 12 to 15 hours
– From 0 to 3 months – 14 and 17 hours
Certain factors affect the amount of sleep you need. Genetics can determine how long you sleep. Your genes may also play a role in how you respond to sleep deprivation.
People who sleep well without waking up may need slightly less sleep than people who wake up frequently or have trouble falling asleep.
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The benefits of sleep
Good quality sleep can prevent many short-term problems such as fatigue and trouble concentrating. It can also prevent serious long-term health problems.
The benefits of a good night’s sleep include:
> Reduced inflammation. Lack of sleep can cause inflammation throughout the body, which can lead to cell and tissue damage. Long-term inflammation can lead to chronic health problems such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
> Improved concentration. People who get enough sleep are more productive and have better performance, memory and concentration than people who are chronically sleep deprived.
> Consumption of fewer calories. Sleep loss and deprivation destroys the chemicals responsible for regulating appetite. This can lead to overeating and possibly weight gain, so getting enough sleep can help.
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> Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. Lack of sleep increases the risk of chronic cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Sound sleep reduces the risk.
> Reduced risk of depression. Insufficient or poor-quality sleep increases the risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. In addition, 90% of people diagnosed with depression report poor sleep quality.
> A good night’s sleep means much more than preventing eye bags. Discover five more reasons to get a good night’s sleep.
See full article at DC Medical.
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