A doctor has revealed how much sleep we should be getting each night – and the negative effects we might experience if we don’t.
Dr Zac Turner, a sleep expert from Australia, explained that getting the right amount of sleep can “change your life” after responding to a reader’s question in a column for News.com.au.
The reader said they are currently getting about five hours of sleep a night as they “try to squeeze as much as possible into my days”, and usually go to bed at midnight due to work or watching Netflix, before waking up early to exercise.
After saying they “seem to be coping” on five hours sleep and asking if it was necessary to get more, Dr Turner said we should be aiming for seven instead – and gave an important lesson as to the reasons why.
He explained that two extra hours sleep a night is 730 hours gained each year, making a huge difference to health and wellbeing, claiming sleep-deprived people can show the “same responses and signs” as to when they are intoxicated.
Symptoms include lack of concentration, irritability, forgetfulness, anxiety, as well as just being a “grouchy person”, with Dr Turner saying: “Your brain functions at a significantly lower rate and you will feel the consequences.
“This could lead to failure in relationships, or losing your job, and has been connected to depression and anxiety.”
But it can also have a noticeable effect on our physical health, as he claims studies have shown adults who don’t get enough sleep are 89 per cent more likely to develop obesity, in part because he says sleep deprivation causes a rise in hormones that stimulate appetite, and a decrease in levels of hormones that suppress it.
Dr Turner added: “And my final tip – don’t scroll the internet on your phone in bed before you go to sleep. It will have a profound effect on the quality of your sleep.”