I’m generally a light sleeper and get woken by the slightest sounds and movements around me. Being a mom to young children has compounded this effect and often renders me sleep deprived for weeks on end. On a good night, I get about an hour’s worth of deep sleep and approximately 5 hours of light sleep which I track on my fitness device. It’s unhealthy and I’ve been feeling its effects over the past few months. Interestingly, I’ve also found a lot of material in the last little while about the dangers of, not only sleep deprivation, but the lack of quality sleep.
It is said that it’s not necessarily the quantity of sleep you get but the quality that matters. That being said, The National Sleep Foundation recommendations for appropriate sleep durations for specific age groups are:
- New-borns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours each day
- Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours
- Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours
- Pre-schoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours
- School age children (6-13): 9-11 hours
- Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours
- Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours
- Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours
Many health practioners agree that, sleep deprivation can be linked to many disorders such as compromised immune system, weight gain, higher risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes which have become far too common globally. Millennials are said to be the most sleep deprived generation and technology and stress are largely to blame for this. It is the incessant need to be plugged in and in-the-know, working too hard and being financially stretched that is taking away from sleep time.
Thrive Global, a wellbeing platform was founded by Ariana Huffington, and has an entire department dedicated to sleep advice. This was founded on the back of her collapse from sleep deprivation and burnout in 2007. Since then, she has been a self-confessed ‘sleep evangelist’ and is dedicated to spreading the word around the benefits of getting good sleep. It’s worth taking the time to read through.