A general term for sleep deprivation refers to a condition that is caused by insufficient sleep quality or didn’t get quality sleep at all. Although, sleep is essential for the human body many people don’t get enough. Insufficient or poor-quality sleep can have a negative impact on our ability to function during the day. Leading to fatigue and sleepiness. 

An exhausted person is more likely to be distracted, make errors, and make poor decisions all over the day. Reduced hand-to-eye coordination is a result of staying awake for more than 24 hours. This is comparable to having a blood-alcohol level of 0.1. This is why sleep deprivation can lead to work injuries and road accidents. 

What is REM sleep and Why it is Important?

REM sleep accounts for less than 25% of total sleeping time. The reason behind its importance is still not clear. Some studies suggest that REM sleep may be necessary for the brain’s ability to retain memories and maintain proper neurological connections. 

How many hours of REM sleep should I Get?

While there is no consensus about how much REM sleep should you get, it’s most common to dream during this stage. Experts believe dreaming is a way to process emotions and create memories. 

REM is a significant portion of most adults’ sleep. It accounts for about 20-25 percent. This seems to be healthy in normal sleep cycles. There are some intriguing questions being raised by sleep research. 

A recent study found that depression may be linked to higher levels of REM sleep. However, it’s not a good idea to make drastic changes to your sleeping habits. It isn’t clear what is causing or effect. 

How Much Light sleep are you able to get?

Even though sleep scientists believe light sleep is beneficial for you, there are no minimum standards. If you’re not asleep, light sleep is the default stage. 

However, too much sleep on a regular schedule can lead to obesity and depression. It can also lead to pain, heart disease, and increased death risk. 

How much Sleep Should a Person Get?

There are many factors that affect how much sleep an individual needs. For some, eight hours may be sufficient while for others this may be excessive.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), most adults require 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Newborn infants sleep 16-18 hours per day.  Preschool-aged children usually sleep between 10-12 hours per night. For older children and teens, it is recommended that they get at least 9 hours of sleep each night. 

This first trimester of pregnancy has been found to required a few hours more sleep than usual. 

Do the amount of Sleep we require to change with age?

Changes in the cycle of sleep are common with age. Slow or deep wave (Stage N3) sleep decreases with age, and lighter rest (stage n1) is more prevalent with age. This means that older adults might be less likely to spend time in the more restorative phases of sleep and spend more time in light sleep. 

People who are older are also more prone to being distracted when they sleeping. Although some believe that older adults require lesser sleep, as they grow older, there isn’t any proof that suggests that older adults have less need for sleep than younger adults. 

Symptoms of sleep deprivation?

A feeling of being tired or drowsy at any point throughout the day is an indication of not getting sufficient sleep. If you can get to sleep within five minutes of sitting down at night is also a sign someone is suffering from sleep lack.

Sleep lack often experiences what’s known as “microsleeps,” which are brief bursts of rest in the otherwise awake individuals. 

People who sleep are less successful in tests like driving simulators, as well as tests for hand-eye coordination. 

Sleep deprivation can also increase any effects caused by alcohol which means that those who are sleep-deprived are more likely to be impaired following alcohol consumption than someone who is well-rested. Caffeine as well as other stimulants can’t overpower the drowsiness caused by sleep lack.  

Key Take Away

Scientists agree that sleep plays a vital role in our health. While stages 1 through 4 and REM sleep are important. Deep sleep is crucial for staying well-rested and feeling healthy.

An average adult with good health gets about 1 to 2 hours of deep sleep per 8 hours of sleep each night. You can use personal trackers or a sleep study to determine if you are getting enough deep sleep or not. 

Talking to a healthcare provider is a smart idea if you are tired of waking up every day and not getting enough or healthy sleep.