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What is Sleep?

What is Sleep?

What is Sleep?

This is a natural condition that allows the body and mind to rest.  We spend about a third of our life sleeping. On average adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every night. However, this may vary from person to person. Children and teens require longer hours of sleep than adults. Sleep allows our bodies to rejuvenate, grow, repair tissues and memory consolidation.

What are the complications of inadequate sleep in adults?

Sleep deficiency can arise from sleep deprivation or from specific sleep disorders.  Certain groups of people are more at risk of sleep deprivation and include; shift workers, those having long work hours or multiple jobs, school attendees with early schedules, alcohol /drug users among many others.

Studies have showed that people with sleep deprivation or sleep disorders are at a high risk of getting involved in road traffic accidents that can be fatal or cause life- long disabilities. They also have a high risk of developing the following diseases;

  1. Heart diseases and heart failure
  2. High blood pressure
  3. Strokes
  4. Diabetes
  5. Obesity
  6. Depression and mood disorders
  7. Poor memory
  8. Erectile dysfunction

What are the complications of inadequate sleep in children?

Children with sleep disorders or sleep deprivation have been showed to exhibit some of the following conditions;

  1. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  2. Poor learning
  3. Poor physical and mental growth
  4. Obesity
  5. High risk of high blood pressure
  6. High risk of accidents such as falling off bicycles

What are some of the commonest sleep disorders?

  1. Snoring and Obstructive sleep apnoea
  2. Insomnia
  3. Narcolepsy
  4. Restless leg syndrome
  5. Periodic limb movement disorder
  6. Parasomnias such as sleep walking, nightmares etc
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