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Lack of sleep

Getting enough sleep every night is crucial for human health. It is not a luxury but something people need for good health.

Not getting enough sleep is linked with many chronic diseases and conditions such as weight gain, weakened immune system, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, high blood pressure, memory loss, stroke, depression, etc. —that threaten human health. Lack of sleep has also led to motor vehicle crashes and mistakes at work, which caused a lot of injury and disability.

Sleep disorders can also increase a person’s risk of health problems. However, these disorders can be diagnosed and treated, bringing relief to those who suffer from them.

Lack of sleep is a concern and has brought about this question – How much sleep does one need to keep healthy?

There is a need to understand how lack of sleep affects our health, this will help us make healthier decisions for ourselves and our families.

It is recommended that adults should sleep 7 or more hours each night for optimal health. Insufficient sleep (or short sleep) is defined as less than 7 hours of sleep daily. In the U.S. more than a third of adults report insufficient sleep.

Age Group

Recommended Hours of Sleep Per Day

Newborn 0–3 months 14–17 hours (National Sleep Foundation)
Infant 4–12 months 12–16 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
Toddler 1–2 years 11–14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
Preschool 3–5 years 10–13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
School Age 6–12 years 9–12 hours per 24 hours
Teen 13–18 years 8–10 hours per 24 hours
Adult 18–60 years 7 or more hours per night
61–64 years 7–9 hours
65years and above 7-8 hours

Some habits that can improve your sleep health:

  • Ensure your bedroom is relaxing, quiet, dark, and at a comfortable temperature
  • Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends
  • Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime
  • No TVs, computers, or smartphones, in the bedroom
  • Exercise daily. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.

Although the amount of sleep you get each day is important, other aspects of one’s sleep also contribute to one’s health and well-being. Good sleep quality is also essential. Signs of poor sleep quality include not feeling rested even after getting enough sleep, repeatedly waking up during the night, and experiencing symptoms of sleep disorders (such as snoring or gasping for air). Improving sleep quality may be helped by better sleep habits or being diagnosed and treated for any sleep disorder you may have.

Source: CDC

For help contact Flying Doctors Nigeria

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The Flying Doctors Nigeria is a member of the British Safety Council that specializes in providing medical solutions such as air ambulance and medical evacuation, ground ambulance procurement and leasing, remote medical services such as medical staffing, online company clinic set-up, site clinic management, occupational health, medical evacuation insurance, and other health consultancy services for the oil & gas industry as well as other corporate, military and non-governmental organizations.

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