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Sleep Facts

Sleep Facts

Lack of sleep can have profound effects on the body and mind. Not getting
enough quality sleep regularly raises the risk of many diseases and disorders.
These range from heart disease and stroke to obesity and dementia. However,
other factors may also have a great deal of impact on the quality of sleep.

Here are some facts about the importance of sleep:

  • According to research, lack of sleep can diminish your attention and concentration,
    making problem solving difficult and having an impact on learning.
  •  Lack of sleep can interfere with your brain’s ability to consolidate memories, making
    it harder to retain what you may have learned from day-to-day.
  •  According to the National Sleep Research Project, if it takes you under five minutes
    to fall asleep it could mean that you are sleep-deprived. The ideal amount of time to
    fall asleep is between 10 and 15 minutes, indicating you are tired but not exhausted.
  • Seventeen hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance
    equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.05%.
  • The National Roads and Motorists’ Association estimates that fatigue is involved in
    one out of six fatal road accidents.
  •  The National Sleep Research Project reports that exposure to noise at night can
    suppress immune function even if the sleeper doesn’t wake. Unfamiliar noise and
    noise during the first and last two hours of sleep have the greatest disruptive effects
    on the sleep cycle.

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How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?

This article from sleepfoundation.org delves into the critical importance of adequate sleep for maintaining good health and vitality.

Ellen Caroll frequently grapples with this question, particularly in ensuring her family members attain sufficient sleep. With a son in preschool, a daughter in high school, a husband working over 50 hours weekly, and aging parents—one afflicted with Parkinson’s disease—Ellen’s family spans various age groups, each with distinct sleep requirements. Given their hectic schedules, they often overlook prioritizing sleep, prompting Ellen to not only advocate for its significance but also to determine their individual sleep needs. 

If you’re akin to Ellen and her family, you might also find yourself bewildered about determining the optimal amount of sleep. Despite constant reminders from media and health bodies to sleep more, it remains unclear how many hours of sleep are necessary and how to gauge if you’re truly well-rested.