Living in a world that runs at a breakneck pace, one of the biggest problem that modern people face is sleep deprivation. As there is more work to do, more things to accomplish, more television to watch, more games to play, and more to get into every day, people rarely set aside enough time to just sleep. And that is a serious problem, because sleep deprivation is very detrimental to good health.

The average adult needs eight hours of sleep every night. However, the average adult actually gets only about 6-7 hours of sleep every night. This is a problem because that lack of sleep adds up. Every hour of sleep that a person misses builds sleep debt and leaves a person needing more sleep the next night. Usually, the next night is just another night of 6-7 hours of sleep and even more sleep debt that starts adding up. By the weekend, most people have so much sleep debt built up that even sleeping in will not help their sleep deprivation. And that creates problems.

The most common results of sleep deprivation include fatigue, an inability to concentrate, irritability and difficulty handling stress. In more severe cases, sleep deprivation can lead to blurred vision, slurred speech and general confusion. If these symptoms sound similar to drinking too much alcohol, that is because they are. In fact, people who have gone between seventeen and nineteen hours without sleep are more impaired than people who have a blood alcohol content of .05, a level that is illegal in most countries.

In the most severe cases, sleep deprivation can even cause hallucinations, nausea and, in the most severe cases, even death. Furthermore, there is evidence showing that a lack of sleep changes the body’s metabolism, increasing the risk of obesity or diabetes.

The best way to treat sleep deprivation is, of course, by getting enough sleep. There is simply no replacement for a full eight hours every night. And that means a full eight hours every night. And by eight hours, that means eight hours of lying in bed actually asleep.

Unfortunately, the biggest obstacle to getting enough sleep isn’t work or stress, it is television. Many people stay up much later than they should because they want to catch just a few more minutes or just one more show, or just see the end of what they are watching. Sleep deprivation can just be a result of watching too much television. Which means that the best sleep aid available is actually the off switch. By using that, many people can feel a lot better every morning and stay more alert during the day.

Though it seems that sleep deprivation is a fact of life in the modern world, it doesn’t have to be. With a little discipline, people can get themselves into bed where they belong and get the rest they need. By doing that, people can be more alert, healthier, and much more able to face the stresses of the day. And what could be a better cure for sleep deprivation than turning in every night to stop depriving the body of sleep?