Sleep for a week or sleep is for the weak?

The record for the longest period of time without sleep is 18 days, 21 hours, 40 minutes during a rocking chair marathon. The record holder reported hallucinations, paranoia, blurred vision, slurred speech and memory and concentration lapses.

Most of us can probably get through a day with less than 8 hours of sleep but is it healthy?

On average, teenagers aged 11 to 17 will need around 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep a night. Adults however, need 7 to 9 hours.

Not only do different age groups need different amounts of sleep, but sleep needs can also vary individually. Just like any other characteristics you are born with, the amount of sleep you need to function best may be different for you than for someone who is of the same age and gender. You may be completely fine with 6 hours of sleep although your friends may need at least 10 hours to fuction properly.

Getting a ‘healthy’ amount of sleep can help improve your mood, maintain a healthy weight, improve athletic performance and increase your concentration levels.

Sleep deprivation can have negative effects on your life such as fatigue, moodiness and irritablitly, it can also have health risks, like reduced immunity to common infections and increased risk of diabetes, weight gain and heart disease.

Low co-ordination and memory issues are also two dangerous factors caused by sleep deprivation.

So is sleep important?

The answer is yes. Getting adequate amounts of sleep can result in an improvement in your mental and physical health.

-Jenny

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