We spend almost a third of our life sleeping. In fact, it is not spending, I would say investing, as the quality of the remaining two-third part of our life depends on the quality of our sleep. Undoubtedly to a great extent, our overall health and well-being depends on the amount of time we spend sleeping uninterruptedly.
Did you know that sleep is essential in healing injuries in addition to coping with pain and illness? Even though the sleep quota of each individual is unique and varies across ages, the National Sleep Foundation recommends the following:
- Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
- Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)
The scientific community recognizes four stages in each sleep-cycle. Each stage of sleep-cycle has its own significance; therefore sleep is not completed until the cycle is completed. Different organs and systems of body get rest in different stages of sleep.
Are You Sleep Deprived?
Numerous studies have been conducted on sleep and its effects on body and brain. Deficient sleep for a long period of time can lead to major physical disorders like: Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Cardiac failure, Stroke, Obesity, Impotence, Decreased Libido, etc. It also causes major mental disorders like: Depression, Personality Changes, Panic Attacks, etc, besides affecting memory, cognitive and learning ability, mood, and personality. Feeling of sleepiness during daytime leads to inability to focus on work, which causes high risk of accidents while operating machines or driving cars. Studies show, the risk of accidents is seven times more for sleep disorder than alcohol.
There are lots of causes of sleep deficiency such as: medical conditions like chronic asthma, arthritis, and obstructive sleep apneoa (OSA); psychological problems including depression and stress; consumption of beverages such as tea, coffee, and alcohol; addictions of drugs or smoking; an unhealthy or a sedentary lifestyle; and many known and unknown factors. Age is a natural factor which controls sleep; youngsters get better sleep than elderly, all due to levels of sleep controlling hormones.
“A well spent day brings happy sleep”-Leonardo da Vinci
This small quote sums up everything. If we are physically exhausted by the end of the day, in all likelihood, we will have a good night’s sleep. The present generation of office goers feels more mental exhaustion than physical exhaustion. Research indicates that physical exertion plays a key role in getting good quality sleep. Many people who regularly go to gym, do yoga, or do any other exercise get tired enough to have a sound sleep. People do lot of things to get sleep, but forget that the sleep is physiological condition to refresh body and brain once they are tired.