We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping, but are you one of those people who thinks they can survive with less than six or seven hours of sleep per night? Well, it may be fine for you, but it’s probably not the best practice. A recent article from Popular Science delved into the subject, and found that the average adult needs about eight hours a night to feel well rested. That would equal 78.8 years that you would be sleeping, if every night you were getting the right amount of shut eye. The question is: how much sleep do we actually need, and can we train ourselves to do so?
Research and sleep studies have confirmed that sleep plays a vital role in our overall health, as well as the functioning of our bodies organs. But in today’s fast paced world, work, kids, and life in general get in the way of a regular night’s sleep. Many people do not sleep the correct number of hours every night on average, and there are probably signs of this unrest in their daily lives. Sleep deprivation can cause serious complications, from mental alertness and sharpness to weight gain, heart conditions, and a weakened immune system.
We all probably know that getting a good night’s sleep is important, but a very small number of us make it a priority. When you’re scrambling to meet the demands of a busy schedule, cutting back on sleep may seem like the only answer. Sacrificing an hour or two of rest to get more done may sound reasonable, but the truth is that even sleeping a minimal amount can take a toll on your mood, energy, mental sharpness, and ability to handle stress. Long-term, chronic sleep loss wreaks havoc on your overall health.
Do you know what keeps you from getting your 8 hours of sleep? Everybody follows a different drummer in life, so we each have our own reasons for lack of sleep. Some drink too much caffeine, while others work too many hours or have too many hats to wear, with children, etc. For some people, they could have restless sleep from conditions such as anxiety, back pain, bathroom trips, or even too much light or noise in the bedroom. Another big problem that people may not know they even have, is called obstructive sleep apnea, where there are gaps in breathing during sleep, often associated with snoring.
A sleep medicine doctor can help you get a good night’s rest, whether it’s helping you change your everyday habits, or scheduling a sleep study to see what’s going on while you sleep. To find out more about the health hazards from lack of sleep and what you can do to get more rest, contact Gingras Sleep Medicine at (704) 944-0562 to request an appointment, or request an appointment online.