Med Desk: Sleep

Now what is sleep, defines it as “to take the rest afforded by a suspension of voluntary bodily functions and the natural suspension, complete or partial, of consciousness”. In simpler terms, it is the rest an individual takes at night. This is a natural process that is required to occur. To sleep is inbuilt in every individual; any deprivation of such a vital phenomenon would lead to undesired consequences. Everybody’s sleeping needs differ; the National Sleep Foundation’s recommends the following sleep requirements, based on age categories:

Sleep Requirements by Age                                     Hours

Newborns (0-3 months old)                                     14-17 hours

Infants (4-11 months old)                                         12-15 Hours

Toddlers (1-2 years old)                                             11-14 Hours

Pre-schoolers (3-5 years old)                                   10-13 Hours

School-aged Children (6-13 years old)                      9-11 Hours

Teens (14-17 years old)                                                8-10 Hours

Young Adults (18-25)                                                     7-9 Hours

Adults (26-64)                                                                 7-9 Hours

Older Adults (65+)                                                          7-8 Hours


Here is a list of positive effects of adequate sleep:

  1. During sleep a person strengthens memories or skills learned, acquired during the day. This process is called consolidation.
  1. Adequate sleep can help reduce chances of suffering Type 2 Diabetes. Research initiatives have discovered that adults who usually sleep less than five hours per night have an increased risk of developing diabetes.
  1. A good night’s rest reduces blood pressure and stress hormones, which are built up from the day’s activities.
  1. Regular required hours of sleep can decrease risk of heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.
  1. The hormone Leptin plays a main role in making you feel full. When you get enough sleep leptin levels remain normal; that means you won’t feel hungry. When people don’t sleep well the level of Leptin are low, making you feel hungrier.
  1. Jodi A. Mindell, PhD, a professor of psychology at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia tells WebMD “Sleep loss affects how you think. It impairs your cognition, your attention, and your decision-making.” So sleeping more negates those effects.


Ways to Sleep Bettersleeping

  1. Setting up a regular bedtime
  2. Avoid activities that disrupt sleep.
  3. Create a sooth sleeping environment
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