“Secure the bag and sleep later” is a popular phrase among young people. Nowadays, people are busier trying to make money and ‘live their best life’. However, can you really live your best life at the expense of your health?
It is often said all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Many people interpret this to mean that ‘if all you do is work, your life will be dull and boring’. While this is true, they fail to mention that your health will be at risk. A person who compulsively works excessively hard and long hours is a workaholic. People who are workaholics find it difficult to separate themselves from work. This results in them depriving themselves of sleep or having a poor sleep schedule.
Sleep deprivation, according to Medical News Today, happens when a person gets less than the required amount they need to feel ‘awake and alert’. Long-term sleep deprivation can lead to both mental and physical complications. Many factors cause a person to be sleep deprived. These factors can be both intentional and non-intentional. Intentional factors include: overworking and entertainment. On the other hand, non-intentional factors include PTSD and other medical conditions.
Required Amount of Sleep
The required amount of sleep varies per age group. Listed below are the appropriate sleep duration for the different age groups as recommended by The National Sleep Foundation (NSF)2015:
- Newborns (0 to 3 months): 14 to 17 hours each day
- Infants (4 to 11 months): 12 to 15 hours each day
- Toddlers (1 to 2 years): 11 to 14 hours
- Preschoolers (3 to 5 years): 10 to 13 hours
- School-age children (6 to 13 years): 9 to 11 hours
- Teenagers (14 to 17 years): 8 to 10 hours
- Adults (18 to 64 years): 7 to 9 hours
- Older adults (65 and over): 7 to 8 hours
Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation
- Mood and behavioural changes
- Difficulty concentrating
- Psychiatric symptoms – disorientation, hallucinations and paranoia
- Physical effects – generalized discomfort, aches and pains, upset stomach or diarrhoea
Continued lack of sleep negatively impacts one’s body. As listed on Medical News Today, sleep deprivation can:
- weaken the immune system
- increases the risk of obesity and other non-communicable diseases
- increases the risk of respiratory diseases and hormone production
Sleep deprivation, whether long-term or short-term is dangerous for your health. It can cause serious or irreversible health conditions. If you are having problems sleeping, it is best to consult a doctor or a therapist. Our health is our responsibility. It is our duty to ‘love our bodies and treat our bodies right.’