Sleep deprivation impacts many people in all cultures, all social classes, all ethnicities and all regions. It is an increasing health issue that can be prevented. But, you may ask and wonder what kind of health impact does sleep even have on your health? You may be surprised with this answer.
Approximately 1 in 3 Americans are receiving less than 7 hours of sleep each night AND over the past 20 years the prevalence of adults receiving less than 6 hours of sleep has increased.
Recommended time for sleep is listed below:
Hours of sleep per day based on age
Sleep deprivation decreases performance, cognition, safety and quality of life.
- Cognition - Sleep deprivation causes memory loss, inattention, complex decision making, slow response time, decline of short-term recall of working memory, reduction of cognition tasks and learning, response suppression occurs and causes an alteration in prefrontal cortex functioning, performance deficits
- Motor Performance - Sleep deprivation increases the risk of motor vehicle accidents, work related injuries and fatal accidents.
Overall health deficits
- Healthy individuals with prolonged sleep deprivation have been shown to have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, impaired glucose intolerance, diabetes, obesity, higher evening cortisol levels, higher levels of inflammatory activators causing cell injury, antioxidant defenses decrease, and much more.
- People with 7-8 hours of sleep per night have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Sleep deprivation increases your blood pressure and strain on the heart and blood vessels, which lead to stroke and heart attacks.
- Sleep deprivation increases the risk of diabetes and obesity, you have increased hunger hormones in your body which makes you overeat.
- Decreased immune function, impaired ability to fight off infection.
Your body NEEDS sleep in order to function correctly. It is so important to create a pattern and schedule of your sleep cycle because your body has a natural circadian cycle, where it secretes the hormone melatonin which creates sleepiness.