Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can sleeping too little affect your health?"
I only get about 4 hours of sleep every night because I go to college and work too. I feel tired but not to bad. so is it okay to only get that much sleep? Will it make me sick more often?
Sleep is a very critical component of our health. We know this because of multiple studies that we have done to show that the less sleep we get, the more things go wrong with out bodies. Probably the most important function that is affected by sleep is your thinking. Mental function and capacity decreases with the less sleep you get. This can even be noticed when people get as much as 6 to 7 hours of sleep. This is why we recommend people get 8 to 9 hours of sleep every night so that the brain can work at its best. Your 4 hours of sleep is by far inadequate, even if you are the type of person that can function on that much sleep. The other part of your health that can be affected by lack of sleep is your heart function. Lack of sleep can cause both weight gain and high blood pressure. It is also possible (though not certain) that the body's immune system is effected by sleep. Thus, you may be more susceptible to infections. It sounds like your schedule is the reason you aren't sleeping. Perhaps you need to try and make your sleep a little higher priority if you can. This is something that is appropriate to discuss with your primary care physician for further guidance and advice.
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