It’s surprising how many people think that they can function on less than an ideal amount of sleep. Although needs vary from person to person, most adults need at least seven hours sleep each day and some need as much as ten hours. If you neglect to make sure you’re sleeping enough, you can run into a number of problems.
Mood and concentration
Without adequate sleep, people tend to become irritable and to lack the necessary focus that would be required for complex actions, such as driving or operating machinery. If you have to deal with members of the public or look after children, it’s not a good idea to do it in a sleep-deprived state, although children are often the cause of that sleep-deprived state in the first place.
Metabolism, immunity and stress
Lack of sleep contributes to a slowing of the metabolism, which can lead to weight gain. Weight gain, in turn, can lead to a range of health problems including diabetes, raised blood pressure and heart disease. Additionally, the immune system becomes less effective, making you more susceptible to a range of illnesses from the common cold to cancer. Levels of stress hormones have been shown to increase, which exacerbates certain conditions and can lead to problems with mental health.
It can be difficult to get into good sleeping habits if you have a busy or irregular lifestyle, but the benefits outweigh the difficulties considerably. With plenty of sleep, you may find you’re able to complete required tasks more efficiently, making your life easier and ensuring you maintain your good health for longer.