Poor sleep leads to stress and anxiety, which can exacerbate chronic health problems like heart disease and diabetes. It also puts people at risk for injury, such as car crashes and falls.
It can cause weight gain, a weak immune system, and depression. It’s linked to Alzheimer’s disease, and it can even lead to premature death.
Many experts now agree that getting enough sleep is essential for good health. Studies show that adults need 7-8 hours of sleep every night to feel well and function normally.
Young Americans (Millennials and Gen Xers) are more likely than older adults to say they don’t get enough sleep, and they are more likely to report feeling stressed by their lack of sleep.
A lack of sleep can also exacerbate existing health conditions, including asthma, cancer, diabetes and fibromyalgia. In addition, certain medications can interfere with sleep or make it harder to fall asleep, according to a 2015 study published in the journal Sleep Medicine Review.
Insomnia, an extreme form of sleep disruption, is another problem that can affect quality of life and lead to more serious health issues. Insomnia can impact work performance, mood and relationships.
If you have poor sleep, talk to your doctor about it so you can find a solution. Treatment can include lifestyle changes and a behavioral intervention to help you sleep better.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children and adolescents get between 8.5 and 9.25 hours of sleep per night. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in four teens is not sleeping enough.
Poor sleep is also associated with back pain, a condition that can increase your risk of serious injury and illness. In a 2014 study, researchers found that people with back pain were more likely to report poor sleep and poorer quality of sleep than people without back pain.
Sleep deprivation can lead to other health conditions, such as high blood pressure and obesity. It is also linked to a higher risk of injury, such as falls and broken bones.
Those who experience insomnia or other sleep disorders have an increased risk of developing mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety. These disorders can be difficult to treat, so it’s important to seek treatment before your condition gets worse.
There is a growing movement to change our culture’s perception of sleep. The American Sleep Association, for example, has launched a campaign to promote the benefits of good sleep. Its website is full of information, tips and resources.
In addition to providing advice on how to improve your sleep, the American Sleep Association encourages everyone to take a stand against sleep deprivation. They recommend avoiding alcohol and caffeine before bedtime, staying away from screens after dark and going to bed at the same time each night.
The American Sleep Association offers a variety of educational materials to promote good sleep habits, such as the “Sleep Smart” video and a sleep log. It is also helpful to seek out the services of a sleep specialist or therapist who can help you get a good night’s rest.