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How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

Are you falling asleep in your coffee at 2:30 in the afternoon? If so, you may not be sleeping as well as you think! If you feel drowsiness during the day or with boring activities, chances are that you are not getting enough sleep.

 

We all have different needs for sleep each night. According to WebMD, adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. When we are deprived of that, we do not function at our best capacity. Babies through adolescents need even more than that. We have all heard that as we grow older, we need less sleep. Even so, elderly people need at least 5-7 hours throughout their life.

 

When we don't get enough sleep, our bodies go into a “debt mode” much like overdrawing funds from a bank. At some point, you have to pay that back to resume your healthy lifestyle. If not, we start to notice that our decisions, coordination, memory, emotions, even our immune system begin to suffer and not perform as well as they should. If you have any pain, it will be percived as more severe when we are deprived of sleep. This sleep debt is as dangerous as being intoxicated on alcohol. If you are using alcohol, its effects are magnified when your sleep levels are lower than they should be.

 

Many traffic accidents are noted to be caused by driver fatigue. NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) estimates 83,000 accidents between 2005 and 2009. “Sleep debt” cannot be counteracted by caffeine or stimulants.

According to the WebMD article noted below, you will know you are sleep-deprived if:

  • You have trouble focusing your eyes

  • You continue to yawn

  • You don't remember the last few miles driving

  • You cannot concentrate or organize your thoughts

  • Your head feels heavy or hard to hold up

  • Your driving is not as smooth or you are drifting between lanes

If you are interested in learning more, please refer to the following website:

https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/sleep-requirements #1-2