Sleep Deprivation Officially Declared a Public Health Crisis

Sleep Deprivation

One-third of the Americans don’t get enough sleep! Sleep and your physical and mental health are strongly related, and sleep deprivation increases the risk of early death, mental health issues, disease, and disability.

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep Deprivation Is a Public Health Crisis

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the Sleep Research Society, adults aged 18–60 years need at least 7 hours of sleep every night to boost their optimal health and well-being.

However, about 80% of US adults reveal that they generally get less than the suggested amount of sleep at least once a week. Sleep deprivation is such a widespread problem now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared sleep deprivation a public health epidemic. According to their research:

  • 23.2% of Americans have difficulties concentrating during the day
  • 11.3% say insufficient sleep interfered with driving
  • 8.6% reported that sleep deprivation interfered with job performance

Read on to discover more facts about sleep deprivation and ways to counter it effectively.

How Much Sleep Do You Require?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends different amount of sleep according to your age. For example, school children need approximately 10 hours of sleep per day. This reduces to 9 hours of sleep for teenagers and 7 to 8 hours for adults.

What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?

Lack of sleep deeply impacts your brain’s functional ability. The collective impact of continuous sleep deprivation at night is linked to a greater risk of developing chronic disorders including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, and frequent mental distress.

How Much Sleep Are You Getting?

According to a Gallup survey conducted in 2013, it was noted that 40% of Americans get to sleep less than 7 hours every night. This implies that 2 in 5 Americans are not getting the recommended quantity of sleep.

What Can You Do to Get Healthy Sleep?

To help you get healthy sleep, you need to make some lifestyle changes including:

  • Going to bed each night at the same time
  • Waking up every morning at the same time
  • Switching off or removing electronic devices such as televisions, computers, and cell phones from your bedroom.

The CDC also provides a few recommendations for healthy sleep including:

  • Healthcare providers should create awareness about the significance of sleep on a patient’s health.
  • People should prioritize getting adequate sleep and practice sound sleep habits.
  • Employers can include adjustments in work schedules to allow employees time to have enough sleep.
  • Employers can also make their shift workers aware about how to enhance their sleep.

Sleep is an essential factor for overall health and well-being as it serves many critical functions in our body. You should take proper measures to overcome sleep deprivation problems and stay healthy.

Tips for Overcoming Sleep Deprivation to Stay Healthy

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep is not an extravagance, but vital for boosting your health and wellbeing. However, many adults today hardly get the recommended quantity of sleep each night.

Sleep Deprivation

An Overview of Sleep Deprivation

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that adults should sleep around seven hours each night. However, above 35 % of adults don’t get that amount of sleep at night. Men sleep somewhat lesser compared to women, and people in the age group of 45 to 54 years have less sleep in comparison to any other age group. Moreover, people who are 35 to 44-years-olds aren’t in a better situation.

While middle-age is the most troublesome period for sleep among adults, teens suffer from sleep deprivation far more than the other age groups. Teens require 8 to 10 hours of sleep daily at night, but almost 70 percent of teens have less than eight hours of sleep on school nights, specifically the 12th graders.

Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation

The main symptom of constant sleep loss is extreme daytime sleepiness. However, other symptoms include lack of concentration, mood swings, fatigue, irritability, depressed mood, anxiety, and many more.

Risks of Sleep Deficiency

The lack of a proper amount of sleep places you at a higher risk of worse conditions, compared to those who attain sufficient sleep. Health risk factors linked to sleep deprivation include obesity, drug addiction, physical inactivity, and more.

Additionally, the possibility of chronic health conditions increases with sleep deprivation as well. You are more inclined to suffer from chronic disorders such as heart attack, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, chronic kidney disease, and many more, due to lack of adequate sleep at night.

How to Sleep Well and Stay Healthy

Here are some useful tips for overcoming sleep deprivation problems:

Consider sleep as non-negotiable – Sleep is as essential for health and vitality as eating, drinking, and breathing. Not receiving enough sleep can cause mental and physical health disorders you should never sacrifice sleep for anything.

Understand your sleep requirement – Our sleeping requirements vary with age. Infants need nearly 16 hours a day, while school-going children require around 12 hours and teens need about 10 hours of sleep daily. In adulthood, generally, seven to eight hours of sleep per day is sufficiently managed by many. Maintain your regular sleep schedule as per your health needs.

Create time for sleep – When you consider resting a priority, you plan your life around your sleep routine. Learn how much sleep is essential for you, then block out adequate time to get to sleep for relaxation. Then you will wake up in the morning, minus the worries of work, family, or social responsibilities.

Make sure to have a consistent sleep – Although it’s ordinary for people to go to bed later, and oversleep on weekends, this practice doesn’t support healthy sleep. When you don’t maintain a regular sleep program, you can disturb your body’s circadian rhythm, making it more difficult to have a sufficient sleep at night.

Ensure a healthy bedroom environment to induce sleep – Your bedroom is almost as significant as the way you sleep. You should ensure to maintain a sufficiently quiet, dark and calm atmosphere in your bedroom, as well as a comfortable sleep-mattress to block out light, noise, and discomfort that can affect your healthy sleep.

Bottom Line

While the occasional reduced sleep at night is not a grave problem in itself, continual sleep deprivation can be. Definite measures, such as the tips described above should be undertaken to avoid constant sleep deprivation in persons of all ages.