Sleep is in my view number one resource in one’s life. It renews the body, regenerates the cells, repairs and reorganizes the neurons and the brain, allows growth and health. Sleep deprivation or bad quality sleep on the other hand cause a plethora of effects. From tiredness and irritation to proneness to react rather than respond, to negativity, slowness of thinking process, difficulty to learn or incapacity to concentrate, reduced sexual appetite, and to severe depression, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure or diabetes.
The amount of sleep varies from babies between 14-18 hours to children up to age of 7 between 10-12 hours and adults between 7 and 9 hours. With age the need for sleep reduces, as well as there is a theory, babies between 16 and 18, children up to 7 around 10-12. As we age the amount of sleep we need tends to reduce and few conditions related to lifestyle, the place you sleep and energy stimulants are relevant for the quality of your sleep
Lack of sleep affect the hormones which regulate the appetite (leptin), thus sending false signals to the brain about the levels of satiety. The body increases hunger to compensate for sleep deprivation.
When we don’t sleep a minimum of 5-6 hours the memory and cognitive functions are impaired, bringing forgetfulness, negative interpretation of events; sharp wave ripples occur during deep sleep, according to science those are responsible for long term memory and lack of them induces memory loss https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharp_wave%E2%80%93ripple_complexes
Getting 6 hours of sleep instead of 7 or 8 may not seem to affect but over time it slows down alertness and performance, reducing the release of human growth hormone and increasing the levels of cortisol. The stress hormone cortisol breaks collagen, reducing the skin regeneration process.
Sleep is a critical component to a joyful life. There are things which you can do during the day and evening to improve your sleep ranging from above recommendations to getting external specialized advice. If you are concerned about the quality of your sleep or if you have the symptoms of a sleep disorder, it is important to consult your health care practitioner. Do not hesitate to improve your life. He or she can help you determine the cause of your sleep problem and recommend appropriate therapy.
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