Adequate sleep is part of healthy lifestyle; less and excess both are harmful. Scientists say our sleeping pattern has changed in last 200 years, especially after the invention of electric lamp. Nowadays digital blue screens of mobile phones, tablets and laptops are also affecting our sleep. Yes reading books before sleeping is a good habit but that’s printed book not true for digital blue screen.
How lack of sleep may affect our health
- Lack of sleep increases risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure or hypertension and diabetes. Lack of sleep affects your body’s natural glucose control system and increases risk of type two diabetes.
- Lack of sleep may affect your immune system and make you prone to cold and other infections. Even vaccination may become less effective. Study proved that people who sleep less than seven hours a day are three times more likely to get cold than who sleep more than seven hours a day.
- Lack of sleep affects your brain and memory which may cause dementia.
- Your cognitive function and mood are also linked to proper and enough sleeping.
- Want to lose weight? Sleep well. May be sleep deprivation is one of the causes of your obesity. Two hormones ghrelin and leptin plays a crucial role in weight gain and weight loss process. Ghrelin makes you feel hungry and sleep deprivation increases production of ghrelin. Leptin makes you feel full; sleep deprivation decreases production of leptin. So you can easily understand how lack of sleep increases risk of obesity.
So now you are serious and will sleep well, I guess. But remember excess sleeping is also harmful like sleep deprivation. Adequate sleep is the main thing.
So how much sleep is adequate
It depends. I think you have noticed that newborn babies sleep a lot. They spend most of the hours in sleep. Sleeping up to 18 hours a day is normal for them. Not for you!
May be pre puberty children do not want to sleep much but experts recommend 11 hours of sleep for them and it’s 10 hours for teenagers.
British NHS and US National Sleep foundation recommends eight hours of sleep a day for adults.
Remember short sleepers are more likely to have shorter life span and long sleepers also tend to have shorter life span. You only need adequate and quality sleep for longer life span which is part of healthy lifestyle.