More than a third of the population is not getting enough sleep. It’s not healthy to be drained and fatigued throughout the day, craving caffeinated beverages and sugar rushes, but it’s certainly way too common. Unfortunately, fatigue has been accepted as a part of western life.
Now, a new study jolts us back to reality. Sleeping six or fewer hours per night is inadequate to sustain health and safety in adults. Adults need sleep just as much as children do, seven hours or more to be specific, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and Sleep Research Society.
More On This Sleep Study
The study was conducted by a Consensus Panel of 15 of the nation’s foremost sleep experts over a 12-month period. The 15 experts used a modified RAND Appropriateness Method to develop a recommendation for sleep duration that promotes optimal health in adults 18 to 60 years of age.
Dangers of Sleep Deprivation
50 to 70 million Americans are affected by chronic sleep disorders. According to the National Institutes of Health, untreated sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes and other chronic diseases.
In a report by the Institute of Medicine titled, Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem, hundreds of billions of dollars are spent a year on medical costs related to sleep disorders.
Sleep disorders have a negative effect on work productivity, behavior and relationships. Furthermore, drowsy driving claims more than 1,500 lives and causes at least 100,000 motor vehicle crashes each year. Sleep deprivation is a deadly problem in America but it keeps getting swept under the rug.
Benefits of Good Old-Fashioned Sleep
If you’re not getting enough sleep, this is what you’re missing out on:
- Reduced under eye circles
- An improved mood
- An improved memory
- An inflammation remedy
- Improved daily performance of your body and brain
- Better maintenance of a healthy weight
- Lower stress levels
Getting More Sleep is Not All That Matters
To reap the full benefits of a healthy sleep, appropriate timing, daily regularity, good sleep quality and the absence of sleep disorders must also be taken into consideration.
Try to go to bed at the same time every day, for the same amount of hours, (six or more,) every day. Invest in a good quality mattress to properly support your spine. If you think you may have a sleep disorder, see your doctor about your concerns.
Is It Possible To Sleep Too Much?
According to incoming AASM president and Consensus Panel moderator Dr. Nathaniel F. Watson, sleeping for a long time, (more than nine hours,) is usually the result of a chronic illness rather than the cause of it, and few experimental laboratory studies have been done to examine the health effects of long sleep durations.
The Consensus Panel refrained from placing a maximum limit to sleep duration since young adults, individuals recovering from sleep debt, and individuals with illnesses might need nine hours or more of sleep for optimal health.