Sleep. How many of us can confidently raise our hands and say that we get enough of it every night?
We know sleep is important to our well-being, and yet we do a poor job of translating theory into practice.
We whittle away the hours working on projects, watching late-night entertainment, and talking to other people when we should be calling it a night. Some of us pull all-nighters just to get something done right before a deadline. You might even hear someone brag about how little they sleep.
There are more things to do now than ever before. More obligations, more choices, more opportunities. But with the ever-present constraint of 24 hours in a day, the first thing we cut is sleep.
You can see this phenomenon play out clearly over time. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the percentage of adults who slept six or fewer hours per night rose from 22 percent in 1985 to 31.6 percent of adults in 2014. That means nearly a third of American adults are not getting sufficient sleep.
Not getting the proper amount of sleep on a nightly basis may not seem problematic at first. You get caught up in something and end up delaying your bedtime by a couple hours. You figure you’ll catch on that shut-eye at a later time. One night isn’t a big deal.
But like all habits, one time can turn into a few times, and then it becomes a recurring pattern. That’s when it becomes a problem. A dangerous problem.
Lack of Sleep in Modern Times
It’s getting harder and harder to get a good night’s rest in today’s world. Our modern 24/7 society runs on excessive electronic usage, increased stress levels, unhealthy food options, and largely sedentary lifestyles. No wonder both the quantity and quality of sleep has gone down.
But sleeping less comes with a price — and a steep one at that. Not getting enough sleep impacts our lives at all levels.
Not resting enough negatively impacts your mood and emotional health. You’re much more likely to be irritable, moody, and antagonizing, which can damage your relationship with others in the long run. You are also more likely to be depressed.