I always wondered why I need 8-10 hours of sleep per night to feel human, while others say they only need 4-6 hours.It seems like so much of my time is wasted sleeping. But sleep is important for the health of our bodies and minds. It appears that everyone is different as to the amount of sleep that they require to say healthy. The amount of sleep each person needs depends on many factors. Infants require about 16 hours a day, while teenagers need about 9 hours.

For adults, 7 to 8 hours a night appears to be the best amount of sleep, but some people need only 5 hours or as many as 10 hours. Women in the first 3 months of pregnancy often need several more hours of sleep than usual. The amount of sleep a person needs also increases if he or she has been deprived of sleep in previous days. Getting too little sleep creates a sleep deficit.

Eventually, your body will demand that the deficit be repaid. Our judgment, reaction time, and other functions are impaired when we lack adequate amounts of sleep. About half of all people over 65 have sleeping problems. This change may be a normal part of aging, or it may be from medical problems or medications that they take for there medical problems.

Experts say that if you feel drowsy during the day you haven’t had enough sleep. If you routinely fall asleep within 5 minutes of lying down, you probably have severe sleep deprivation or possibly even a sleep disorder. A large portion of the population is”burning the candle at both ends“,which is creating sleep deprivation. These people are having microsleeps,or very brief periods of sleep, to termporarily satisfy there sleep deprivation.

Many studies make it clear that sleep deprivation is dangerous. Sleep-deprived people performe as bad or worse than those who are intoxicated. Sleep deprivation also increases the effects that alcohol has on the body. Driver fatigue is responsible for an estimated 100,000 motor vehicle accidents and 1500 deaths each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Drowsiness is the brain’s last step before falling asleep, so driving while drowsy leads to accidents. Caffeine and other stimulants cannot overcome the effects of severe sleep deprivation. If you have trouble keeping your eyes focused, can’t stop yawning, can’t remember driving the last few miles, you need to get off the roadways.

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