General Sleep Info

It's a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.

-John Steinbeck

As a society, we get 20% less sleep than our ancestors only 100 years ago. Our lack of sleep has become problematic, especially among college students. College students slept around 8 hours a night in the 1960s and '70s, seven by the '80s, and now that number is closer to six hours. We've always been told that sleep is important but not until recently have we discovered all of the various ways it affects us physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Countless problems can be solved when we sleep for 7-9 hours each night!

Check out all of the areas of your life that are affected by lack of sleep:

Physical Health
Lack of sleep can increase cancer risk, increase blood pressure, and decrease immunity and reduce your body's ability to fight off common infections, including the flu.

Body Weight
Lack of sleep can cause weight gain. People who report an average total sleep time of 5 hours a night, for example, are much more likely to become obese, compared with people who sleep 7-8 hours a night. Evidence is growing that sleep is a powerful regulator of appetite, energy use, and weight control.  The less people sleep, the more likely they are to be overweight or obese and prefer eating foods that are higher in calories and carbohydrates.

Mental Health
Lack of sleep can lead to depression, anxiety, and irritability.

Social Health
Lack of sleep is associated with difficulty communicating, forgetfulness, lethargy, bad mood, and paranoia.

Lack of sleep leads to poor decision making, increased accident risk, and slows down reaction time. When people who lack sleep are tested on a driving simulator, they perform just as poorly as people who are drunk.

"The feeling of sleepiness when you are not in bed, and can't get there, is the meanest feeling in the world."
-Edgar Watson Howe