How much sleep do we need
The amount of sleep we need is very individual. Age and genetics affect the individual need.
Generally, an adult sleeps between 6½ and 7½ hours a night. Older people however sleep less.
It has been proven that sleeping for more than 10 hours or less than 5 hours a night leads to an increased risk for illness.
Sleep is divided into phases, the most important of which is deep sleep, when even our immune system is strengthened.
Waking up in the middle of the night several times is not normal.
People with depression have little or no deep sleep.
Coffee and alcohol have a negative affect on deep sleep, as does a high room temperature.
What happens if we sleep too little?
Levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, drop while you are sleeping.
If you are suffering from a lack of sleep, cortisol will remain at a high level, thus slowing the body’s metabolism.
People getting too little sleep experience an increased desire for sugar and fat, starch-rich food. This is caused by the level of the hormone leptin - which regulates the feeling of hunger and satisfaction - dropping as a result of lack of sleep.
Several independent medical surveys have shown that on average 5 kg overweight is caused by lack of sleep.
Lack of sleep is one of the causes of high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a factor that causes premature aging and shortens lives, as it wears out the body.
Fatigue depression is almost solely caused by lack of sleep.
Your choice of bed is important for your health
Lack of sleep leads to stress.
Stress leads to inferior sleep, which in turn can lead to anxiety, pain sensitivity and over time even to fatigue depression.
Sleep is the body’s repair period.
The body recuperates, and processes and stores information.
A major portion of all learning occurs during sleep.
If we sleep too little, the risk of higher levels of blood lipids also increases, which can put pressure on the heart and arteries as early as the age of 30.
A lack of sleep has a negative effect on the body’s immune system and infection sensitivity increases.
Too little sleep can give rise to memory and concentration difficulties and we can easily become irritated and gloomy.
Aches and pains are often worsened as a result of lack of sleep.