Conventional wisdom says that the average adult should aim to get about eight hours of sleep each night. Children need significantly more sleep time while older adults may manage with less. Before the invention of effective artificial lighting, the cycle of night and day regulated sleeping patterns. People worked during the daylight hours and when night fell they went to bed. The poor light cast by candles and oil lamps did not encourage them to stay up. Today electric light effectively obscures the difference between night and day. Work, social life, computers, and many other factors tempt us to cut down on much-needed sleep. Cutting out on too much sleep results in sleep deprivation.
The fact that you become tired and need to sleep at times proves that this is vital to the body's functioning. Just as you need to eat and drink a certain amount and exercise to stay healthy the same applies to sleep. The optimum sleep time varies between individuals, but if an average person gets less than six hours of solid sleep each night, they are sleep deprived. Your body needs this rest to recoup energy expended during the day. A serious lack of sleep weakens the immune system to increase the likelihood of infection.
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