Did you sleep enough last night? How much did you sleep? It is a question that needs a good answer, because sleep is very important for our well-being and health. If you sleep couple of hours only, your brain and the body’s need for rest will not be satisfied.

Actually, the brain utilizes this time to go through every memory and it will delete the unimportant ones. This way there will be space for new information. This means that if we do not sleep enough our memory, concentration, creativity, decision-making and mood will be affected.

Additionally, the sleep can also have an influence on all organs and body system and eventually can harm our health.

How lack of sleep can harm our health

Central Nervous System – it can cause harm to concentration, memory and mood. Insomnia might also cause depression, hallucinations, paranoia and impulsive behavior.

Immune System – it can weaken the immune system and make you prone to different illnesses, and other chronic diseases including diabetes and heart disease.

Respiratory System – it might worsen different existing conditions including chronic lung illness, and can also increase the risk of respiratory infections such as flues and colds.

Digestive System – it can cause weight gain and also increase insulin levels. The result will be increased risk of type 2 diabetes as well as fat accumulation.

Cardiovascular System – it can affect the blood sugar levels, blood pressure, as well as inflammation. It can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and heart attack.

Endocrine System – it can affect the growth hormone production, especially among teenagers and kids.
Guidelines for Sleep Hours

We all know that the general rule is that everyone should sleep 8 hours of sleep, this can be different and it depends on the age. This matter was researched by group of scientists that were guided by Charles Czeisler.

Their goal was to see how much sleep is enough for different age groups, and what kind of effect the lack of sleep can have over the mind and body. The following was discovered:

• Newborns or 0 to 3 months should sleep 14 to 17 hours;
• 4 to 11 month – 12 to 15 hours of sleep;
• 1 to 2-years – 11 to 14 hours of sleep;
• 3 to 5-years – 10 to 13 hours of sleep;
• 6 to 13-years– 9 to 11 hours of sleep;
• 14 to 17-years – 8 to 10 hours of sleep;
• 18 to 25-years – 7 to 9 hours of sleep;
• 26 to 64-years – 7 to 9 hours of sleep;
• 65+ – 7 to 8 hours of sleep.

Catch Up on Lost Sleep

If you want to catch up on your sleep, you should sleep more. However, you will need more than that in order to compensate for your sleep and it will be hard to do it if you were not sleeping for couple of months. It is a recovery that will take couple of weeks.

To start, add extra hours of sleep during the week and slowly adjust the time according to the age group you belong.
You should avoid drinking energy drinks or taking too much caffeine for staying awake as this provides temporary solution and it is going to have a bad influence on the long term.

Your sleep should be your priority and it is important to be on your list – everyday. For better sleep you can:

– Evaluate the room you are sleeping in to get perfect light, temperature and sound.
– Be mindful of caffeine and alcohol – those are sleep stealers.
– Sleep on comfortable pillow and mattress.
– Exercise on a daily basis.
– Have a sleep schedule – weekends included.
– Have a bedtime ritual.
– Turn off all electronics before going to bed.