What many people do not realize is that a lack of sleep—especially on a regular basis—is associated with long-term health consequences, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and depression. Numerous epidemiological studies have demonstrated that adults who usually slept less than five hours per night had a greatly increased risk of having or developing diabetes. Studies have also found that a single night of inadequate sleep in people who have existing hypertension can cause elevated blood pressure throughout the following day.
Experts say the amount of sleep we need varies from person to person. In general, most adults need about seven hours of sleep per night. Children and adolescents need even more — around nine or 10 hours each night. The best measure of how much shut-eye you need is how you feel when you wake up. If you feel well and are energetic, then you likely had a good night's sleep.