Sleep deprivation can cause serious health issues

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Photo of a man sleeping while he holds his pillow.
Photo of a man sleeping while he holds his pillow.

Adults should sleep for at least seven hours per night, according to a Hartford HealthCare press release. Teenagers should get more sleep each night, perhaps 10 to 12 hours. Young children should sleep for about 13 hours per night.

A US study showed that children who slept 10 hours or more a night ended up feeling better and had an easier time socializing during their first kindergarten year. New evidence has also revealed that sleep problems can lead to depression and not the other way around, as commonly believed.

“Sleep helps with memory, learning, regulating our emotions and the function of our organs, which ultimately helps control our weight and immune system,” said the medical director of the Sleep Care Center at The Hospital of Central Connecticut Moshe Zutler, MD, in the article.

Effects of sleep deprivation

Lack of sleep increases the risk of high blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes, heart attack, and stroke, among other health problems. It may also result in mental health issues like depression.

For the first time ever, the American Heart Association added getting enough sleep to its list of the eight crucial elements to better cardiovascular health. This was a major thing since it demonstrates the need of getting enough sleep for a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Lack of sleep is a recognized medical disorder known as sleep deficit. It may indicate that you aren’t getting enough sleep or that you are going to bed at the wrong time. Even if you sleep for a long period of time, you may still not feel refreshed.

According to Zutler, if you are getting adequate sleep but are still waking up exhausted and unrested, there may be an underlying health issue like sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, insomnia, or another condition. In this situation, speaking with a medical expert might be beneficial.

“There are many things like nasal congestion, heartburn and excessive alcohol or nicotine use that can interfere with proper sleep and all of them are treatable,” continued Zutler.

What are some of the consequences of sleep deprivation?

Lack of sleep can cause a wide range of physical and mental symptoms. Some of these include exhaustion, decreased productivity, hypertension, heart failure, and even stroke.

Sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, periodic limb movement disorder, and parasomnias are a few examples of sleep disorders.

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