Aside from fitness and healthy eating, sleep is just as important for optimal health. The quality and amount of sleep affects the quality of your waking life. This can range from your mood, energy, physical vitality and even your weight. It is amazing how many benefits come from so little effort!

There are many effects of sleep deprivation that can cause harm to your personal being and to others as well. Sleeping can cause drowsiness and fatigue and can slow your reaction time as much as driving drunk. According the National Highway Traffic safety Administration, fatigue is a cause of 100,000 auto crashes and 1,550 crash-related deaths a year in the U.S. Similarly, fatigue can cause poor judgment in most adults because sleep affects our interpretation of events. The inability to making sound judgments may cause someone who is tired or fatigued to make the decision to drive anyways.

Sleep Deprivation can also lead to Serious Health Problems which can include Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and weight gain. According to a 2004 study, people who sleep less than six hours a night were 30% more likely to become obese than those who slept for nine hours. According to WebMD, the peptide Ghrelin “stimulates hunger and leptin signals satieity to the brain and suppresses appetite. Shortened sleep time is associated with decreases in leptin and elevations in ghrelin.”

Many other negative effects can include reduced creativity and problem-solving skills, inability to cope with stress, reduced immunity, concentration, and moodiness and irritability. Most people may think that 6 hours of sleep may be enough, but this is just a myth. The following is the average sleep needs by age;

  • New Born to 2 months old: 12-18 Hours
  • 3 months to 2 year old: 14-15 hours
  • 1 to 3 year olds: 12-14- hours
  • 3 to 5 year olds: 11-13 hours
  • 5 to 12 year olds: 10-11 hours
  • 12 to 18 year olds:8.5-10 hours
  • Adults (18+): 7.5-9 hours

Remember that sleep is one of the most important factors in living a healthy lifestyle. It is important to get enough hours of sleep as well as the quality of sleep. Constant noises, smoking and drinking, and constantly changing your sleeping pattern can affect the quality of your sleep as well. To maintain energy throughout the day, cope with stress, and maintain a healthy mind and body it is important to get plenty of sleep in a sound environment.

Blog Author: Jesse, Channel Manager, Pacific Pillows

Works Cited

Smith, Melinda, M.A., Lawrence Robinson. Harvard Health Publications, 2013. Web. 27 Feb. 2013.

Peri, Camille, M.A., 2012. Web. 27 Feb. 2013.