Homelessness and Sleep Deprivation

Homelessness and Sleep Deprivation

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.


But what happens if you are not able to get the proper amount of sleep necessary for a healthy lifestyle? One of the things we are proud of at Samaritan House, is that our residents are able to get a good night sleep. Sleep deprivation causes difficulties for everyone, regardless of where you live, but the homeless are at higher risk of not getting the proper amount of sleep.


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. This is compounded for children, who need even more sleep than adults. Many homeless children are more susceptible to becoming physically run-down when they can’t sleep.

Lack of sufficient sleep makes a person grumpy and irritable. It is easy to say or do things you later regret if overtiredness prevents you from thinking before speaking or acting. Consider how many business and social relationships disintegrate because one party says or does something without sufficient forethought. A good night’s sleep ensures that you are much better equipped to respond well to the challenges that invariably come up in human dealings. Applying and interviewing for jobs when sleep deprived is a tough obstacle to overcome.


While genetic and diet factors are key determinants of whether or not an individual is prone to develop diabetes, lack of sleep also plays a role. According to some studies, getting sufficient sleep helps the body process glucose. If you usually sleep less than five hours per night, your body is unable to effectively perform this function and risks of developing type 2 diabetes increases.


When you invest in Samaritan House, you help change lives in real and practical ways like helping families and individuals get a restful night sleep so they can face a future with hope.
-resources from facts.com

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