What Happens To Your Body And Brain If You Don’t Get Sleep | The Human Body
Sleep is crucial for our health — and many of us are lacking when it comes to it.
“First and foremost we need to make sleep a priority,” says sleep expert Michelle Drerup, PsyD, DBSM. “We always recommend a good diet and exercise to everyone, but along the same lines we recommend proper sleep as well.
The foundation based its report on two years of research and breaks it down into nine age-specific categories, with a slight range that allows for individual preferences:
- Adults, 65+ years: 7 to 8 hours.
- Adults, 26 to 64 years: 7 to 9 hours.
- Young adults, 18 to 25 years: 7 to 9 hours.
- Teenagers, 14 to 17 years: 8 to 10 hours.
- School-age children, 6 to 13 years: 9 to 11 hours.
- Preschool children, 3 to 5 years: 10 to 13 hours.
- Toddlers, 1 to 2 years: 11 to 14 hours.
- Infants, 4 to 11 months: 12 to 15 hours.
- Newborns, 0 to 3 months: 14 to 17 hours.Doctors have also found evidence that genetic, behavioral and environmental factors help determine how much sleep you need for your best health and daily performance.
- Short-term problems can include:
- Lack of alertness. Even missing as little as 1.5 hours can have an impact on how you feel.
- Excessive daytime sleepiness. It can make you very sleepy and tired during the day.
- Impaired memory. Lack of sleep can affect your ability to think, remember and process information.
- Relationship stress. It can make you feel moody and you can become more likely to have conflicts with others.
- Quality of life. You may become less likely to participate in normal daily activities or to exercise.
- Greater likelihood for car accidents. Drowsy driving accounts for thousands of crashes, injuries and fatalities each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.Chronic sleep deprivation can even affect your appearance. Over time, it can lead to premature wrinkling and dark circles under your eyes. There’s also a link between lack of sleep and an increase in the amount of the stress hormone cortisol in your body. Cortisol can break down collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth. In other words, a lack of sleep could mean more wrinkles!