Sleep is a crucial part of our lives, and we all are aware of the significance it has. According to science, sleep is one of the pillars of our health and essential ingredient to a healthy lifestyle. We actually spend one-third of our lives sleeping in our beds.
We all agree with the importance of sleep, but we rarely realise it. We have been harming our lives at risk every time we stay up late and wake up early. Sometimes we even spend the whole night without any sleep, which is worse. But as we are discussing sleeping for a certain amount of time, a quick question pops up: How many hours should we sleep?
Is there any hard and fast rule when it comes to how many hours of sleep is enough? This is precisely what the point of this blog is.
Multiple pieces of research on this subject have been raised until today, and no one research was able to pinpoint an exact number of sleep hours that one needs. But it is not all pointless. The study was able to throw some light on certain rough number of sleep hoursthat we need as we age. As we said, it is not exact, but it provides a lot of value onto the concept, and we can rely on the statistics.
Multiple research has cumulated the following data. The data has been displayed in the form of a table. The full research report can be viewed at SleepHealthJournal.org
|Age group||Age||Adequate sleep hours|
|Newborns||(0-3 months)||14-17 hours|
|Infants||(4-11 months)||12-15 hours|
|Toddlers||(1- 2 years)||11-14 hours|
|Pre-schoolers||(3-5 years)||10-13 hours|
|School-ready||(6-13 years)||9-11 hours|
|Teenagers||(14-17 years)||8-10 hours|
|Young adults||(18-25 years)||7-9 hours|
|Adults||(26-64 years)||7-9 hours|
|Older adults||(65+ years)||7-8 hours|
These are the figures around which you should wrap around your sleep schedule. After going through his you will have some idea about how many hours of sleep is enough for you. A drastic change in the following the numbers can lead to either sleep deprivation or oversleeping, which can be unhealthy for your body.
What is Sleep Deprivation, and how can it affect your health?
Sleep deprivation is a state when a body is not getting enough sleep. According to the chart above, if you are not getting adequate sleep and the sleep hours you get are way less then what mentioned above, it means you are sleep deprived.
Sleep deprivation can be really harmful to your body as it can take a heavy toll on both of your physical and mental health.
Some of the effects of sleep deprivation are:
– The weakening of the Immune system
– Respiratory problems
– Excessive release of Insulin
– Higher risk of type 2 diabetes
– Heightened risks of cardiovascular (heart) diseases
– A considerable effect on the production of growth hormones, including testosterone in males.
– It can cause mental problems such as anxiety and depression.
– High blood pressure
Sleep Derivation has some spooky effects as well. Read our edition on scary effects of sleep deprivation here:
As we can see,sleep deprivation can be very harmful to the body in the long-term. Anything less than an adequate amount of sleep, the one that suits your body.
Oversleeping and its harmful effects
As the name of the term suggests, oversleeping refers to sleep more than an adequate amount. As for sleeping, less is dangerous; sleeping more than a certain amount is no good either. It has its share of harmful effects with it.
– Heightened risk of stroke and heart problems.
– Higher risk of being obese
– Increased Inflammation
– Cognitive Impairment
– Impaired brain functioning and overall impact on mental health
There’s no perfect number.
Every person’s body is different, and therefore it is not possible to assign a number ofsleep hours to a particular type of person. We have listed a table that was a result of the research reports. That table will give you a rough idea about what adequate number of sleep hours look like according to your age. There are a number of factors that kick in to decide how many hours of sleep is enough, but in the end, it is for you to decide what number suits the best for your body. There are some questions that you can ask yourself to find out how much your body demands.
- Do I feel tired regularly during the daytime?
- At what time I feel the presence of fatigue?
- Do I often fall asleep during some inactive moments of the day, such as the lunch break or while travelling?
- Is the current number of hours enough for me, or do I feel a strong need to sleep even after completing my daily quota?
- Do you depend upon multiple coffee cups to get through the day?
These questions will help you get closer to your number as you will directly assessing your daily routine and the demands of the body.
How to improve sleep
There are some stimulants that can help you straighten your sleep schedule. We don’t believe in the usage of medications as long as there is no dire need of going to the doctor, which is very infrequent. You can adopt these few measures we have listed below to get a proper amount of sleep and regulate your sleep schedule.
– Exercise long before going to bed. Exercising will help you feel sleepy at night, making you feel less sleepy during the daytime.
– Keep away from alcohol, heavy meals, caffeine, and refined carbs before going to bed.
Check out the best meals to have before going to bed:
– Stress usually keeps people awake. Trying clearing your head before hitting the bed. Few minutes of mediation or breathing exercises will do the work for you.
– Focus on the sleep environment. Keep it cool and away from extra lighting. Have a comfortable mattress. Dark, quiet, comfy and little cool is the best environment to sleep in.
There is no exact method or way to figure out how many hours we should sleep. But you can straighten it out for yourself by following the tips above. Just maintain a sleep schedule and listen to how your body responds. Make changes accordingly, and you will see positive results soon.