Dr. Konstantinos Tsoutis, Dentist, Prosthodontist,
Board Certified Dental Sleep Specialist

6 Semitelou St, Athens
(+30) 210 7702192

Sleeping And Its Importance

-Why do we sleep?
People spend one third of their lives sleeping. There are many scientific opinions with respect to the need for sleep. The basic theories about the functions of sleep are:

• Sleep is a protective behavior as it keeps the person in a state of "low risk" for a significant portion of the day.
• Memory is directly dependent on sleep
• Immune system is affected by sleep
• Human growth hormone is released during sleep
• Sleep allows  the body to rest and save energy.

-How much should I sleep?

Can you fall to bed and sleep until the noon of the next day? If this is something usual for you, and you are not an infant, then you sleep too much.

A newborn baby needs up to 16 hours of sleep each day, a young person about nine hours and an adult 7-8 hours. After the age of 65 the necessary sleep time gradually decreases, so that elderly people only need 5-6 hours of sleep each night.

-How harmful is the lack of sleep?

Many people sleep less than they need for several consecutive nights. It is possible for the body to adapt to such a daily schedule. However, adjusting to a lifestyle of sleep deprivation has significant negative effects, such as:

•    Irritability
•    Confusion
•    Memory issues
•    Blurred vision
•    Reduced reaction time
•    Reduced cognitive ability
•    Effects on the immune system
•    Nausea
•    Psychosis
•    Hypertension
•    Sexual dysfunction

Caffeine and other stimulants may temporarily offset the effects of sleep deprivation, but they cannot do so over long periods of time. Getting more sleep seems to be the most effective solution. Besides duration, sleep quality is of equally high importance for our health. An important part of the population cannot enjoy a good night sleep because of some type of sleep disorder. The most common sleep disorders are snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

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