It may not seem like a big deal if you lose a couple hours of sleep over the weekend. And it’s true: recovering from one night of poor or little sleep isn’t so bad. However, when you’re regularly sleeping less than the recommended amount a night (7-8 hours), things can go downhill fast.
Sleep is a major part of your overall health. Your body needs restorative sleep to clear toxins from the brain, maintain your physical health, and maintain a healthy balance of hormones in the body, just to name a few. Depriving your body of the sleep it needs can lead to or exacerbate a number of health problems, including:
- Sleep Apnea
- Depression and other mental disorders
- Cardiovascular disease
Problems caused by sleep deprivation aren’t limited to personal health. In fact, sleep deprivation has been linked to human errors in tragic accidents such as the Staten Island Ferry Crash, Exxon Valdez oil spill and Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown.
With 40 percent of American adults reporting they are sleep deprived, the National Geographic Channel, The Public Good Projects and the National Institutes of Health have partnered to present Sleepless in America, which takes a look at sleeplessness in our country. The segment will air on the National Geographic Channel on Sunday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. CST. We encourage you to tune in.
The first step to achieving better sleep is setting a designated bedtime and sticking to it. If you or a loved one has struggled to sleep well, check out some of our healthy sleep habits. Or, if you suspect you may have a sleep problem, contact our doctors at Iowa Sleep. We’re committed to helping Iowans learn what steps they can take to sleep better and the reasons behind each step.