A basic human need
We have not even noticed that the cause behind all many illnesses and disorders of our lives may be a lack of sleep and the amount and quality of sleep has changed with the development of human civilization.
From the day man discovered artificial light, sleep has become very troubled and as more and more gadgets fall into our hands, the quality of sleep continues to change. There was a time when people spent 6 to 8 hours per night in total darkness, but with all the modern gadgetry we have today, few bedrooms are completely dark due to the number of LED lights that run 24 seven.
But others think sleep is unnecessary and too much time is wasted in it. Some governments agree which is one of the reasons behind the introduction of daylight saving time. This causes people to wake earlier in the morning and go to work earlier which helps to increase the economic bottom line but it may not necessarily be good for health.
However, when you don't get enough sleep then you are more likely to be less focused or more prone to making errors in your day-to-day life. You are more likely to be short tempered, have a poorer sense of judgement, doing things like drinking too much coffee and eating too many sweets which in turn raises blood pressure undermining health.
You may remember as a teenager, or you may have teenagers in your life who are active at night but have trouble getting up in the morning. This is because teenage biology makes them very active in the early part of the night and many find it difficult to sleep before midnight.
Teenage bodies are still growing and this is the time of their life where they transition from childhood to adult hood. As such there is a great deal going on within their physical bodies as well as their minds which are running at peak capacity as they tried to make sense of the world. This is why they need more sleep than adults and why it is so hard for them to get up early in the morning. So for a majority of teens, they would be better suited going to sleep at midnight and beginning their day around 10 a.m.
There are some more enlightened people who are so full of the zest of life that they simply do not have much time to sleep and this sometimes happens to older people. They can make do with three or four hours of sleep per night and not suffer any ill effects. However most babies will sleep 15 hours a day and this sleep requirement may well reduce over a lifetime.
It is generally agreed that most healthy adults need a regular 5 to 6 hours of sleep and night and people who do not get enough sleep are often cranky the next day. During sleep time, life-energy is accumulated, life is revitalized. But the right sleep is different for everybody because everyone has different needs according to age and other factors.
You may not be aware that the latest research says that there cannot be one fixed time for everyone to wake up. Teenagers for instance have a natural inclination to sleep until midday and this is a biological need that seem to support their growth process whereas elderly people often sleep early in the evening and awaken before dawn.
So each person should discover the best arrangement for him or her instead of just conforming to what others need or what has been prescribed. If one is irritable due to a perceived lack of sleep, make time to get that sleep. But if that does not resolve the problem, there may be other health and lifestyle factors that need review.