The Importance of Sleep

The Importance of Sleep 20March

We all know sleep is important, but studies are coming out with even more information on how vital it is. According to

Sleep deprivation leads to traffic accidents and occupational errors that can, in turn, cause industrial or environmental disasters.

Additionally, sleep deprivation has many adverse health effects. According to the CDC, not getting enough sleep may lead to a range of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, or cancer, as well as generally increasing the risk of dying prematurely.

Those are pretty extreme outcomes for not getting enough sleep. So, how much sleep do you need? According to the Sleep Foundation:

Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)

Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)

Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)

Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)

School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)

Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)

Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)

Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours

Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)

Adversely, those who get the recommended amount of sleep,

The researchers found that insufficient sleep or poor quality of sleep can worsen medical conditions and emotional states.

Interestingly, the use of sleep medication was also linked with these adverse effects.

Improvements in sleep quantity and quality, as well as using less sleep medication, were found to correlate with higher scores on the GHQ and the SF-12 scales. In fact, the researchers found a 2-point improvement in the GHQ score, which is the equivalent of an 8-week program of mindful cognitive therapy aimed at improving psychological well-being.

As the researchers note, the score improvements were also comparable with the average increase in well-being measured in lottery winners 2 years after a $250,000 jackpot win.

Overall, improvements in sleep quality accounted for the largest beneficial effects on health and well-being, suggesting that the quality may be more important than the quantity of sleep we get. (


So make sure you those recommended amount of zzz’s! If you are having trouble with sleep, be sure to contact the Wickenburg Hosital Clinic and schedule an appointment today!

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