Getting enough sleep is crucial. When you sleep, your body gets to rejuvenate itself. If you don’t get the recommended amount of sleep your body needs, it can cause a number of problems for you. But, how do you know how much sleep you are supposed to get each night? Different age groups require different amounts of sleep. Take the following for example:
- Infants need 14-15 hours
- Teenagers need 8.5-9.5 hours
- Adults typically need 7-9 hours; however, some adults can get by with 6 hours, while others need as much as 10 hours
- Women in the first trimester of pregnancy need several more hours of sleep than normal
Early Warning Signs Of Sleep Deprivation
If you notice that you are feeling drowsy during the middle of the day, even during a boring activity, that means you didn’t get enough sleep during the night. The amount of sleep you need is also going to depend largely upon whether you had enough sleep the other days or not.
For example, if you only got four hours of sleep on Saturday, you are going to have a sleep debt of anywhere from two to five hours. Think of it like having your bank account overdrawn. Trying to catch up on sleep isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do.
Causing Damage To Your Body
At some point in time or another, your body is going to crash and demand that you get the sleep you need. Your body doesn’t just adapt to less sleep. Not getting enough sleep can cause your other functions to be altered. Even though you think you are adapting to less sleep, your body is suffering underneath. Sleep allows your body to rest, relax and unwind. It is a time where you can rejuvenate and eliminate all of the stress from the world. It is also a time where your body heals itself.
Dangers Of Poor Sleep Patterns
Poor sleep patterns can cause a number of problems with your health and well-being, such as:
- Depression – Many people often find themselves feeling down in the dumps for no reason whatsoever. It comes on all of a sudden and doesn’t seem to have any root cause.
- Memory problems – Countless individuals suffering from inadequate sleep find that they cannot remember things. Simple things like where you left your keys or what time you have to be at an appointment become increasingly difficult.
- Increased pain perception – While your pain might not increase, you feel like the pain got worse. Not getting enough sleep can alter your perception of pain and amplify it. Your body needs adequate sleep to attempt to heal your joints and muscles. When it doesn’t get it, you end up feeling the pain more.
- Weakened immune system – Numerous individuals who don’t get adequate sleep find themselves feeling run down and sluggish. Even if you are a normally healthy individual, you could very well find yourself struggling with cold-like symptoms out of the blue. Your immune system isn’t going to be able to fight back against anything going on in the world around you.
Risk Of Getting Injured
Countless auto accidents occur each year because of people getting behind the wheel when they are too tired to drive. This is not only dangerous to you, but it is also dangerous to anyone else who might be on the road with you. If you find yourself feeling the slightest bit drowsy, you shouldn’t be driving. Even though you might think that caffeine or other types of stimulants can overcome the effects of sleep deprivation, they can’t. The only cure for drowsiness is sleep.
If you find that you can’t stop yawning, are having trouble focusing your eyes, are struggling to keep your head up or you can’t remember what you did over the last few minutes, you need to take a step back and get some sleep. It isn’t worth putting your life or anyone else’s life in danger just because you might think you feel fine. Sleep is more important than doing what you want to do.