How many hours of sleep are enough? Self-inflicted sleep deprivation.

Sleep is biological necessity.

Sleep is the third pillar of health followed by nutrition and exercise. Without food people die from starvation, without being active, muscles start to atrophy. What happens if you don’t sleep? As a fact, sleep deprivation was used as a torture and may still be used as an interrogation technique. Prolonged sleep deprivation causes mental and physical problems. Do you really want to torture yourself? Feeling tired, getting irritated easily, having problem to concentrate – these are the first signs of sleep deprivation. As a result, it will affect health and safety of an individual and have an impact on other people.

How does it affect health? The following list of issues is just top of an iceberg:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Weight gain
  • Anxiety and Depression.

How does it affect safety?

  • Car accidents
  • Work related accidents.

So, sleep is the biological necessity for our brain and body. But, the amount of sleep depends on the age and medical condition.

Age Group Hours to Sleep
Newborns (0-3 months) 14 to 17 hours a day
Infants (4-11 months) 12 to 15 hours a day (including day naps)
Toddlers (1-2 years) 11 to 14 hours a day (including day naps)
Preschoolers (3-5 years) 10 to 13 hours
Elementary school (6-13 years) 9 to 11 hours
Teenagers (14-17 years) 8 to 10 hours
Young adults (18-30 years) 7 to 9 hours
Adults (31-64 years) 7 to 9 hours
Older adults (65+ years) 7 to 8 hours

What is self-inflicted sleep deprivation?

It means that humans can willingly delay sleep. For example, we watch a show on TV or play a game on a phone till 3am. This self-inflicted deprivation reduces our ability to interact socially. Studies confirm that people who had not slept had a reduced ability to recognize expressions of anger and happiness, thus inhibiting us to process emotional information. One of the primary causes of excessive sleepiness among Americans is self-imposed sleep deprivation.

It is in our power to correct our sleep with both a healthy psychological plan and the proper sleeping environment, of which the most important factor is the proper mattress.  Nevertheless, mattress is only one of components of sleep solution. Do not forget to find:

  • Right Pillow
  • Breathable sheets and comforters/blankets
  • Right Foundation
  • Adjustable base
  • Mattress protector.