How much sleep do you need?
Medical advisors recommend adults get between 7 - 9 hours of sleep every night.
But a recent sleep study found that 71% of Brits are not getting this recommended amount of sleep.
In fact, 1 in 7 UK adults gets under 5 hours of sleep. 😱
Our article, Is 6 Hours of Sleep Enough? discusses the impact of less sleep.
Sleep deprivation can have a significant impact on our mental and physical health.
We'll go into more detail about these negative effects in our article.
Why is sleep important?
Sleep is vital for our health and wellness, and disruptions to the circadian rhythm can have harmful consequences. ⏰
The circadian rhythm is like an internal 24-hour clock regulating biological processes, including your sleep-wake cycle.
However, outside influences, such as mental health, stimulants, jet lag, shift work, and sleep disorders, can interrupt this clock.
What are the consequences of poor sleep?
Lack of quality sleep can have many consequences that can be much more serious than just feeling tired.
But what different areas of life can sleep disorders affect?
Mental health and wellbeing
Sleep disorders can also have a major impact on mental health and well-being. 🧠
Research has shown that people who suffer from sleep disorders may experience mood changes, including irritability, anxiety, and depression.
This can then become a vicious circle and lead to other sleep problems, such as insomnia or waking up from nightmares.
The mental health charity Mind explains how lack of sleep can lead to suicidal thoughts or psychotic episodes. 😟
In fact, sleep is one of the most important components of good mental health.
In 1963, Randy Gardner made the record for the most time gone without sleep - 11 days!
During this time, he explained how it felt like he had early Alzheimers, showing how much sleep is vital for our mental health.
Physical health and appearance
The impact of good sleep on physical health and appearance cannot be understated.
Studies show that the symptoms of sleep deprivation can lead to various health problems, including high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
A lack of sleep can also weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to illness. 🤧
In addition to its effects on health, sleep deprivation can also impact your appearance.
Those who don't get enough sleep are more likely to have a fatigued appearance, including dark circles under their eyes, paler skin, wrinkles, and a sad complexion.
Getting adequate sleep is crucial for our overall health and well-being and also plays a role in maintaining a healthy appearance. 🌞
In other words, sleep should be an essential part of your beauty and health regime.
Relationships and work performance
Sleep disorders can have a profound impact on your life.
Chronic sleep disorders can also impair cognitive function, which can be especially dangerous in jobs that require alertness and quick reflexes, like driving or working with heavy machinery. 🏭
The effects of sleep disorders on your work can be particularly damaging.
You may struggle to keep up with your workload, missing deadlines, or even nod off during important meetings.
This can lead to a decline in work quality, damage your professional reputation, and put your job security at risk.
In severe cases, sleep disorders can even lead to social isolation and job loss, which can be devastating for your emotional well-being and financial stability. 📉
Sleep problems in babies and children
Unfortunately, many children experience sleep issues that can affect their physical and emotional health.
Childhood sleep disorders may have different symptoms and treatments compared to adults.
Sleep problems in babies
Infant sleep issues are a common concern for parents.
Newborns sleep for 16 to 17 hours of sleep each day, waking up for feedings.
However, some infants may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep as they grow older. 👶
Some baby sleep disorders signs include refusal to go to sleep, waking up and crying during the night and clinginess before bedtime.
Potential causes of infant sleep issues include medical conditions such as reflux and colic.
But some babies just don’t sleep as well as others.
You can change your baby’s sleep environment by reducing noise or light and promoting self-soothing skills. 💤
Sleep problems in children
Sleep disorders in children can include difficulty falling asleep, frequent night waking, night terrors and bed wetting. 🌊
You can also try positive reinforcement techniques, such as reward charts or small incentives, to promote healthy sleep habits.
For bed-wetting specifically, parents can manage the child's fluid intake during the day and encourage them to use the bathroom before bed.
We also recommend using waterproof mattress protectors to prevent permanent accidents.
Many childhood sleep disorders, such as bedwetting and sleepwalking, will disappear as children mature.
Why sleep is important for babies and children
Sleep is vital in encouraging growth and development in children and babies. 👶
While asleep, the body repairs and promotes the formation of neural connections in the brain.
These factors are all important for a baby's physical and cognitive development and the immune system.
Sleep problems in children can have a significant impact on their physical and emotional health, as well as their academic performance. 🧠
Children who do not get enough sleep may experience behavioural problems, including hyperactivity and irritability.
They may also have difficulty concentrating and may perform poorly in school.
Chronic sleep deprivation has also been linked to an increased risk of obesity and other health problems.
By promoting healthy sleep habits, parents can help ensure their children get the restful sleep they need to thrive. 💪