Sleep is a really underrated aspect of your overall health, if the public knew how much sleep can affect your life expectancy and overall well being perhaps people would take getting proper sleep more seriously.
Today we are going to discuss sleep statistics, suggestions on how to determine if you’re getting enough, what the health implications are for long term lack of sleep, and one of our suggestions to help you get more rest.
What’s the average amount of sleep people get?
Among a few countries, here is the average hours of sleep per night:
- Canada- 7.1
- Mexico- 7.1
- Germany - 7
- United Kingdom- 6.8
- United States- 6.5
- Japan- 6.4
Another important thing to consider is as time passed, technology advanced and society changed, which led to people getting less sleep on average.
In the 1940s for instance, people would get more sleep, a little over 7 hours in the United States. Fast forward to today, less than 70% of people get that much sleep.
If you look at the fact that technology like the internet that keeps the restless mind awake, people watching TV in bed late into the night, or how video games keep people occupied for hours on end shows that there are more opportunities to distract yourself and lose track of time.
Although averages show some indication of the population, a group that published a peer reviewed study revealed that every person requires a different amount of sleep based on genetics. The study showed that 80% of the variation in people’s sleep is genetic.
The take away being this: if you’re getting less than 6 and half hours of sleep, you are probably not getting enough sleep but if you feel good then listen to your body.
We’re about to cover the effects of lack of sleep on your health, but keep in mind that you don’t need to actively force yourself to sleep more if you’re within a reasonable range of sleep.
How lack of sleep affects your heart health
You’ll start to see a pattern that shows how sleep isn’t the direct cause of health issues, but negatively amplifies the health risks associated with it.
One big concern with not getting enough sleep is how your heart reacts.
According to the Whitehall II Study, researchers found that less than five hours of sleep doubled the risk of death from cardiovascular disease – which is the number one cause of death in the United States.
Over time, poor sleep leads to lower energy levels, apathy, and your ability to be productive.
Almost everyone has felt the feeling of being too tired to do anything at one point, now think of extended periods of lack of sleep: it’s easy to understand why unhealthy habits could develop.
Life doesn’t necessarily slow down because you can’t sleep, work, school, other obligations pile up and it leads to higher stress levels, lack of motivation, being less physically active and overall all your habits suffer.
It’s this combination that negatively affects your heart health.
How lack of sleep motor functions
This idea is pretty common knowledge but worth a mention, almost all of us have fallen asleep in the middle of the day, nodded off at work or at school. You don’t need a study to demonstrate how this is dangerous when driving.
The U. S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that driving while being sleep deprived is related to at least 100,000 car crashes per year.
Outside of motor vehicles, people operating any type of machinery when deprived of sleep poses great risk, when your lack of awareness is amplified your brain isn’t able to process things as quickly and that can lead to mistakes that lead to deaths if you’re operating heavy machinery.
Accidents are one of the leading causes of death in the United States, we shouldn’t undermine how sleep plays into them.
How lack of sleep and your mental health are related
If you think that lack of sleep only affects motor functions think again: Studies have shown there’s a strong correlation between mental health problems and getting enough sleep.
Not only is insomnia a lot more common than people think, but it seems to be a lot more common of a problem with people who struggle with mental health issues.
Chronic sleep problems affect 50% to 80% of patients in a typical psychiatric practice, whereas about 18% of the population of the US deals with insomnia according to research done by Harvard.
In a study published on the National Library of Medicine, after a two week period of insomnia the likelihood for someone to experience a depressive episode increased greatly.
Not enough sleep is a leading cause of mortality, but what can you do?
Out of the top 15 leading causes of death in the United States, a whopping 7 of the 15 have been directly linked with inefficient sleep.
Whether it be heart health, cancer, accidents, suicide, they all have one thing in common: extended periods of lack of sleep drains your body of energy, affects your brain and impedes your decision making which leads to bad lifestyle choices that affect other systems in your body.
If you’re struggling with getting your sleep under control it’s okay, as mentioned earlier insomnia and restless minds at night aren’t as uncommon as you think.
One thing you can do is try to remove any distractions and improve your sleep routine, but that aside our Potli Dream Honey can do wonders for those struggling to get consistent sleep.
CBD is great for helping you get sleep. Infused with CBD, our honey interacts with the endocannabinoid system in your body and sends signals through neurotransmitters in your body to experience feelings of calm and relaxation, perfectly setting the mood for a mind at ease receptive to a good night’s sleep!
For more on the science of CBD check out this article where we mention how CBD interacts with the body.