Sleep—When You Don’t Snooze, You Lose!

thumb_sleep.jpgPopular culture teaches us that "if you snooze you lose," but research shows just the opposite—sleep is important! Learn why getting quality sleep is essential to health. Find out what happens when we get the right kind of sleep and what negative consequences, like loss of productivity, result from not getting enough rest. Review tips and tricks to improve sleep patterns.

Sleep: The Facts

How much sleep do you need?*star-161973_640.png

  • Infants: as much as 16 hours per day
  • 1-5 years: 10-14 hours per day
  • 6-12 years: 9-12 hours per day
  • 13-18 years: 8-10 hours per day
  • Adults: 7-9 hours per day

*Learn more at: https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/how_much_sleep.html

  • According to the CDC, "More than one-quarter of the U.S. population report occasionally not getting enough sleep, while nearly 10% experience chronic insomnia."
  • A MedlinePlus article reports "recent national surveys show that 30 % of U.S. adults sleep fewer than 7 hours a night. As many as 30 % of adults report daytime sleepiness....[and] 70 % of adolescents sleep less than the recommended 8-9 hours each night."
  • It is estimated that driver sleepiness is a factor in about 100,000 car accidents each year, resulting in about 1,500 deaths.
  • Lack of sleep plays a role in "on the job accidents" such as the Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor Meltdown and numerous plane and ship incidents.
  • "Little Sleep, BIG COST" Infographic ~American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Explore more sleep disorder myths/facts

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's "Your Guide to Healthy Sleep" (PDF available online) is designed for patients and provides a comprehensive review of important sleep-related information.

Benefits of Sleep

Sleeping the right amount of hours:sleep_benefits.jpg

  • Improves our ability to:
    • Learn
    • Focus
    • Remember
    • Problem solve
    • And be creative
  • Lowers blood pressure and allows our heart and blood vessels to rest
  • Helps certain hormones regulate:
    • Growth
    • The repair of cells and tissues
    • The immune system (to fight infection)
    • Blood sugar levels (which affect energy)
    • Appetite
  • Boosts our mood
  • Helps us better manage our emotions and behaviors (impulse control)

Why is Sleep Important? from NIH

Consequences of Sleep Deprivation

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Symptoms of not getting enough sleep may include:

  • Sleepiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Moodiness and/or emotional instability
  • Poor impulse control
  • Forgetfulness
  • Increased appetite
  • Accident prone
  • Reduced accuracy
  • Decreased productivity
Did you know...

  • After several nights of losing sleep—even a loss of just 1–2 hours per night—your ability to function suffers as if you haven't slept at all for a day or two.
  • Lack of sleep also may lead to microsleep. Microsleep refers to brief moments of sleep that occur when you're normally awake. ~NIH

Think about what vital information might be missed during a microsleep that occurs at work, while driving, in a classroom, on the telephone, in a healthcare setting, while operating machinery....

Learn more: Sleep, Performance, and Public Safety from Harvard Medical School's Sleep Medicine Department

In the U.S., sleep deprivation contributes to $50 billion dollars in lost productivity each year
See even more startling statistics at: Sleep Disorders & Insufficient Sleep: Improving Health through Research from the NIH

Insufficient sleep has been linked to these chronic diseases/conditions: