We all have pretty much heard about the need for having a good sleep every day. The role of sleep in health is not a new discovery, however, it is rather a luxury in the intense way of living we have. How tempting is the exchange of some hours of work and activity with a few hours of sleep? However, if we do so, there is always a price.
What is sleep
Sleep is a normal period where body reduces its basic functions and activities of the central nervous system while it is characterized by a reduced perception and interaction with the environment. This reduced mental and physical inactivity provide body the opportunity to perform some basic functions, like as to renew its cells but also to grow, especially if we are talking about children. For example, protein synthesis, muscle and tissue growth occur only during sleep.
Sleep and health
Many studies have shown that lack of sleep increases the risk of many chronic diseases and seems to be associated with lower life expectancy. Unfortunately, the cost of lack of sleep in health can hardly be estimated as many diseases are multifactorial (genes, lifestyle, diet, etc.). Nevertheless, the value of sleep is equal to that of nutrition and exercise in overall health.
Effects of lack of sleep
During sleep, many hormones are produced which are responsible for many different metabolic processes of the body, such as appetite regulation, mood, anxiety response and body immunization. Sleep apnea (sleep disruption during sleep) and insomnia are the two most common sleep disorders that significantly affect both duration and quality of sleep. Research has shown that reduced sleep duration and quality are associated with:
- depression and anxiety disorders
- reduced libido and fertility
- cardiovascular disease
- weak immune
How many hours of sleep do we need?
According to the latest announcement of National Sleep Foundation, the required hours of sleep, depending on age, are listed below:
|Elderly||> 65 yeras||7-8|
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