The U.S. CDC estimates that between 50 and 70 million Americans have a wakefulness or sleep disorder of some kind or another. There are health issues, like snoring, that obstruct sleep, but often times, we just don't let ourselves get enough sleep.
The National Sleep Foundation recommend specific amounts of sleep based on age. Their recommendations are: Older adults, 65+ years: 7-8 hours Adults, 26-64 years: 7-9 hours Young adults, 18-25 years: 7-9 hours Teenagers, 14-17 years: 8-10 hours School-age children, 6-13 years: 9-11 hours Preschool children, 3-5 years: 10-13 hours Toddlers, 1-2 years: 11-14 hours Infants, 4-11 months: 12-15 hours Newborns, 0-3 months: 14-17 hours So what happens when we deprive ourselves of adequate sleep?
1. We age quicker.
One study found that poor sleep habits negatively impacts our skin health. Wrinkles, age spots, fine lines, and a lack of elasticity of the skin was observed.
2. We damage our hearts.
Recent analysis indicates that coronary heart disease and stroke risks increase if we don't sleep enough.
3. We gain weight.
A three year long study of 21,000 adults found a relationship between lack of sleep and weight gain. People who slept only 5 hours a night weighed more and were at greater risk of becoming obese.
4. We make ourselves sick.
Numerous studies have found a direct relationship between the strength of our immune systems and how well we sleep.
5. We can't think straight.
You don't need a study to know this is true. When you don't sleep enough, brain fog sets in and it's hard to think well. This borders on dangerous when we begin operating vehicles while underslept.