The demands of everyday life and the pressure to fit everything you want to do into your day result in you sleeping four to five hours every night. But how good is this for your health?
A 2018 study of over 10,000 people showed that getting less than seven to eight hours of sleep a night for a long period of time causes the body to underperform. The researchers found reduced performance in verbal skills, reasoning skills, and thinking ability in general.
On the contrary, adequate sleep, i.e. at least seven to eight hours at night, improves the functionality of the organism in terms of communication, planning and decision-making.
Sleep hours by age
According to CDC research, more than 1/3 of American adults don’t get enough sleep on a daily basis.
The US National Sleep Foundation advises:
- Newborns: 14 to 17 hours of sleep
- Babies: 12 to 15 hours of sleep
- Infants 1-3 years: 11 to 14 hours of sleep
- Toddlers: 4-6 years: 10 to 13 hours of sleep
- School-aged children: 9 to 11 hours of sleep
- Teenagers: 8 to 10 hours
- Young adults: 7 to 9 hours of sleep
- Adults: 7 to 9 hours of sleep
- Elderly: 7 to 8 hours of sleep
What are the symptoms of lack of sleep?
Lack of sleep has been linked to a multitude of negative effects. More specifically:
Reduced performance in brain function. A 2018 study showed that severe sleep deprivation, i.e. no more than four hours of sleep a night, leads to reduced thinking ability.
Increased risk for diabetes. According to a 2005 study, getting less than six hours of sleep each night results in an increased risk of diabetes. The same applies to long hours of sleep, i.e. more than nine hours.
Increased risk for stroke and heart disease. A 2011 pooled study showed that sleeping less than seven hours resulted in an increased risk of stroke and heart disease.
With information from healthline.com