An average individual is recommended to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. Not doing so can prove to be as detrimental for the health of an individual as a high-fat diet or stationary lifestyle. However, experts have also warned that too much sleep can prove as damaging as too little sleep. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention already regards insufficient sleep as a public health epidemic, but too much sleep is just as bad. Even research has suggested that too much sleep is just as harmful as too little. Essentially, much like everything in life, moderation is the key to getting the right amount of sleep, but this is not as easy as it may seem.
Surveys have suggested that most adult individuals do not get enough sleep every night. In fact, health experts now refer to chronic sleep deprivation as global “public health problem” because of how widespread it has become. It is also a well-known fact that chronic sleep deprivation can lead to a wide range of illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammatory disease, obesity and mental health issues.
Among its other effects, sleep deprivation is also known to disrupt the body’s hormonal balance and weaken the immune system. Additionally, people tend to get fatigued when they do not get enough sleep, which makes them prone to becoming involved in accidents and also consequently also increases their risk of death significantly, regardless of the cause.
However, getting too much sleep also raises serious health concerns. According to a study, the dangers of sleeping for too long or too much are just as detrimental as unhealthy behaviors like alcohol abuse or smoking. The same study revealed that individuals who rest for an average of over 9 hours are a higher risk of having a premature death.
No doubt, the amount of sleep that can be regarded as too little and too much tends to vary from one individual to the other. However, research conducted by Harvard University researchers suggests that every adult should at least get anywhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night in order to avoid disrupting the rhythm of rest and wakefulness of their body.
When it comes to this particular subject, most experts seem to agree that the health threats like coronary heart disease are similar for those who sleep less than 4 hours and more than 9 hours every night. Moreover, those who undersleep and oversleep tend to experience quite similar symptoms. For instance, both of them will feel persistently fatigued and over the course of time, they will become mentally and physically exhausted.
People often think that they need more sleep when they feel worn out, which happens when their lives are lacking some emotional, mental, physical, or spiritual factors. Hence, they must find relevant ways to address those needs in a manner that improves their health rather than damaging it, mainly by eating healthy food, exercising regularly and sleeping adequately.
Appropriately managing stress can actually help an individual get enough sleep. Modern day lives often tend to be hectic, so finding an escape from the world surrounding not easy. However, this becomes quite necessary every now and then. Thus, getting the right amount of sleep is all about finding the right balance within.