How Just Losing 1 Hour of Sleep Affects Your Health Says Study!

According to Dr. Sudhir Kumar, a neurologist at Apollo Hospitals Hyderabad, good sleep hygiene is the cornerstone of a satisfying and productive life, especially during our younger years. Let's read about what one hour of sleep loss does to your body.

Johanitha Moraes
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We all know sleep is important, but a new study highlights just how crucial those nightly Zzz's are for our daily function. Getting enough sleep isn't just about feeling refreshed- it's essential for our bodies to operate at their peak.

Sleep, the foundation for a productive life?

According to Dr. Sudhir Kumar, a neurologist at Apollo Hospitals Hyderabad, good sleep hygiene is the cornerstone of a satisfying and productive life, especially during our younger years. Think of sleep as the recharge button for our bodies and brains. When we're well-rested, we have the energy to tackle our daily activities with focus and enthusiasm.

What is the alarming reality of Sleep Deprivation?


Here's a wake-up call: over a third of adults don't get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night. This chronic sleep deprivation has a significant impact on our well-being. Dr. Kumar's recent viral social media post shed light on a surprising finding- even losing just one hour of sleep for a few nights can take days to recover from. This sleep debt can manifest as headaches, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and poor decision-making.

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What are the effects of sleep deprivation?

When you skimp on sleep, it disrupts this delicate process, triggering a domino effect:

  • Hormonal Havoc: Sleep deprivation throws your hormones out of whack. Leptin, the satiety hormone, decreases, while ghrelin, the hunger hormone, increases. This hormonal imbalance can lead to increased appetite and weight gain. 
  • Cognitive Caffeination Cravings: Feeling foggy and sluggish? That's your brain struggling to function without adequate sleep. It can impair your focus, memory, and decision-making abilities. No wonder that morning cup of coffee suddenly seems like a lifeline!
  • Immunity Blues: Sleep is essential for a healthy immune system. When you're sleep-deprived, your body produces fewer infection-fighting cells, making you more susceptible to getting sick.

What is the long-term impact of Sleep Loss?


The consequences of sleep deprivation aren't just a temporary inconvenience. Chronic sleep loss has been linked to a variety of health problems, including:

  • Increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
  • Impaired cognitive function, leading to memory problems and difficulty learning.

How much sleep do we really need?

So, how much sleep is enough? Dr. Kumar provides a helpful breakdown of sleep needs by age group:

  • Newborns (up to 3 months): 14 to 17 hours
  • Infants (4 to 12 months): 12 to 16 hours (including naps)
  • Young children (1 to 5 years): 10 to 14 hours (including naps)
  • School-aged children (6 to 12 years): 9 to 12 hours
  • Teenagers (13 to 18 years): 8 to 10 hours
  • Adults (18 years and up): 7 to 9 hours
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How can we find sleep solutions in a busy world?

The good news? While ideally we should aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night, Dr. Kumar acknowledges that our busy schedules don't always allow for that luxury. The key takeaway is to prioritize sleep and find ways to manage any sleep debt. Napping during the day can be a great way to compensate for missed nighttime sleep, offering some flexibility for those with demanding schedules.

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In today's fast-paced world, sleep can often be sacrificed for work, social commitments, or screen time. But Dr. Kumar's message is clear- prioritizing sleep is not a luxury, it's a necessity. By ensuring we get the recommended amount of sleep each night, we're investing in our overall health, well-being, and ability to function at our best. So, power down your devices, create a relaxing bedtime routine, and embrace the power of sleep! Your body and mind will thank you for it.

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