We live in a fast-paced era. Individuals are working longer hours to achieve highly-valued success instead of nurturing their bodies. Though conducting a difficult task at work can feel good, sleep deprivation can produce adverse health effects, limiting your ability to celebrate your accomplishment.
Sleep is a vital practice in our daily lives. Without it, we would die. There are various ways to tell if you and your family members are getting enough sleep, before exploring them, we must assess the importance of sleep itself.
The Importance of Sleep
You may notice that some of your peers have an easier time at work, their marriages and parenting. Though it can be a synthetic projection, some of it may derive from their adequate sleep routines. Sleep can significantly improve one’s health and wellbeing.
When individuals receive enough sleep regularly, they have steadier blood sugar rates, letting glucose levels drop. The process also decreases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Sleep also improves your general immunity.
Your immune cells work best when they rest often. An adequate amount of sleep also supports your mental health. While you are sleeping, you process emotions, helping you self-regulate while awake.
There are various ways to recognize if you are or are not getting enough sleep. You can also expand your awareness of childhood sleep, ensuring your whole family receives the best nights of sleep possible. There are eight things to look for when determining rest levels.
1. The Age and Hour Combination
Individuals need different amounts of sleep throughout their lives. The number of hours you need to rest each night decreases as you get older. Newborns require the highest amount of sleep because of their fast-paced development.
In the first few months of life, babies require 14 to 17 hours of sleep daily. Between the ages of 4 and 11 months, the rest requirements decrease, reaching between 12 and 15 hours. The numbers continuously drop until the teenage and early adult years.
Sleep requirements level off between seven and nine hours for the majority of life. If you are receiving fewer hours of rest than recommended, you may experience various daily life and health struggles. Sleep significantly impacts the brain, affecting cognitive functions and mental health.
One’s ability to concentrate declines drastically without sleep. Researchers found going without sleep for nearly 48 hours decreased one’s mental abilities to the same level as having a 0.1% blood alcohol concentration. It causes an individual’s reaction time to lengthen and limits their attention span.
Minimal concentration abilities also degrade one’s ability to operate heavy machinery. You are significantly more likely to get in a car wreck after a poor night of sleep. If you or your family members experience a decline in concentration abilities, you may need to increase the number of hours you sleep a night.
Another sign of sleep deprivation is stress. When individuals’ cognitive abilities decline, they have a difficult time completing general tasks. The increased challenges cause stress and other unpleasant effects.
High stress levels can also cause sleep disruption. Many individuals report resting for fewer hours while planning for a wedding or working towards a promotion. If you feel stressed, it is essential to evaluate your sleep schedule and its correlation to your mental state.
4. Memory Impairment
Individuals also feel increased levels of stress deriving from memory impairment. Scientists discovered sleep increases one’s ability to store and transfer memories. You have trouble transferring memories from the hippocampus to the prefrontal cortex when you are sleep-deprived.
Professionals misdiagnose many elderly individuals as having dementia when they really need more sleep. If you or your family members have trouble remembering, it is helpful to reevaluate your sleep schedule.
5. Depression and Anxiety
Like stress, depression and anxiety both result from and cause sleep deprivation. The mental health disorders may derive from the adverse effects associated with inadequate rest, like fatigue. They are also closely associated with insomnia, the condition disrupting one’s ability to go to or stay asleep.
Another common symptom of inadequate rest is frequent sickness. During sleep, your immune system produces cytokines, which help your body fight illnesses. Sleep deprivation significantly decreases the number of cytokines in one’s body, increasing their risk of getting sick.
A change in libido is also a sign of poor sleep. Researchers discovered an extra hour of sleep each night can raise a woman’s libido by 14% on average. If you or your parents experience a decrease in sex drives, you may be experiencing sleep deprivation.
8. Heart Disease and Cancer
Adults who sleep fewer than six hours a night, and have a history of stroke or heart disease, are three times more likely to die of cancer. They also have an increased risk of developing fatal heart conditions. If you are experiencing adverse health effects, you may consider improving your sleep routine.
How to Improve Your Sleep Routine
Families can improve their nights of rest by establishing a consistent schedule. They may also practice mindfulness in the evenings to minimize their stress and anxiety levels before lying down. Eating melatonin-rich or supportive foods before bed additionally promotes a good night of rest.
Researchers found limiting electronics before bed can improve one’s night of rest. In general, creating a dark, calm and cool environment for sleep can support a good night of rest for the entire family.