Sleep Deprivation

Are you getting enough sleep?

Most Americans are not. In fact, the average American gets five and a half hours of sleep…that’s a lot less than the standard requirement of seven to eight hours.

Sleep is a crucial requirement to our body functioning properly. It’s the only time we have the chance to let our heart muscle repair, our brain rest, our lungs take a break, etc.

Without this down time, our body begins to wear out and tire. If you think about a laptop computer that hasn’t been plugged into the electrical outlet for awhile, eventually that computer is going to run out of battery life and crash. Well, the same thing happens inside our bodies.

In fact, nothing leads to a decrease in life expectancy more than a lack of sleep.

There are two major classifications for loss of sleep, aka Insomnia. There’s Acute Insomnia and Chronic Insomnia. Insomnia is classified as a lack of sleep, usually less than seven to eight hours per night.

Acute Insomnia is a lack of sleep that occurs once or twice in a row and then typically goes back to normal. This may happen multiple times during someone’s lifetime. It seems very insignificant but can also have very serious repercussions.

For example, one night’s loss of sleep can affect a person’s ability to operate a vehicle in the same way as driving under the influence of alcohol. Meaning, we’re just as dangerous on the road when we’ve missed one night’s sleep as we are when we’ve drank two to three margaritas.

Chronic Insomnia is a loss of sleep that occurs for three days per week, or more, and lasts for at least two to three months. The issues associated with Chronic Insomnia are much more severe. There’s a tendency to see increased obesity, higher risk of heart disease and heart attack, 4x more likely to contract colorectal cancer, 3x more likely to have breast cancer, increased risk of stroke, and the list goes on and on.

Without sleep, our life and well-being decreases dramatically. If we’re truly going to be as healthy as we can be and have a fully functioning nervous system, then we need to make sure we’re getting seven to eight hours of sleep throughout the night.

Otherwise, the nervous system will end up crashing at some point. Whether that causes us to experience symptoms like a cold, flu, fatigue, or worse, heart disease, cancer, or stroke. Sleep is imperative to a healthy body.

Stay healthy friends.