Now what is sleep, Dictionary.com 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:
- During sleep a person strengthens memories or skills learned, acquired during the day. This process is called consolidation.
- 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.
- A good night’s rest reduces blood pressure and stress hormones, which are built up from the day’s activities.
- Regular required hours of sleep can decrease risk of heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.
- 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.
- 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.
- Setting up a regular bedtime
- Avoid activities that disrupt sleep.
- Create a sooth sleeping environment