Sleep is an important part of our mental well-being. Lack of sleep can also have serious health and safety consequences. Even several days of inadequate sleep can affect mood, cognitive functioning, and energy levels.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the following are recommendations for various age groups:
- children 10-11 hours of sleep;
- teens 8.5 – 9.5 hours of sleep;
- adults 7-9 hours of sleep;
- older adults tend to need 1-2 fewer hours than the average adult of sleep.
Should a person not get enough sleep they may experience the following:
- Decreased cognitive functioning
- Difficulty concentrating
- Low mood and irritability
- Decreased energy
- Decreased work productivity
- Poorer work performance
There are also long-term consequences when a person does not get enough sleep for an extended period of time, including:
- Decreased ability to resist colds and infections
- Increased body mass and fat accumulation
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Difficulty with learning and retaining new information
- Memory issues
It is possible to help yourself get more sleep and to also improve the quality of your sleep as well. Check out this video for some ideas and the resources below.