Sleep Recommendations Are Nothing to Yawn At
The three most uttered words in the English language just may be: “I’m so tired.” Americans are chronically sleep-deprived, according to many studies and surveys. And, except for babies and toddlers, sleep deprivation is found in people of all ages.
The National Sleep Foundation, a group of professionals, patients and others concerned with improving sleep, promotes more shut-eye time. Together with a multidisciplinary group of health experts, the foundation produced recommendations for appropriate sleep duration. The 2015 report increased the amount of sleep needed for most age groups beyond traditional recommendations and also included the first-ever sleep recommendation for people ages 65 and older.
Sleep is not only important to how you feel and think. According to Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep Medicine, lack of sleep makes a big impact on long-term health. Those who struggle with getting enough sleep are more likely to experience:
- Heart disease and hypertension
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Infections (due to a sub-optimal immune function)
- Depression and other mood disorders
- Shortened life expectancy
Not everyone has the same sleep needs. Some people seem to function fine on a few hours a night while others require 10 hours to feel their best.
The best advice is for each person to create his or her own sleep schedule that is within a healthy range. Don’t forget to discuss your sleep needs and problems with your doctor.