How Much Sleep Do I Need?

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Sleep is as important as breathing to be alive. Keep in mind only sleep is not enough. You have to sleep enough time for better mental health. Many people may not realize the side effects of not getting enough sleep. But, believe me; it affects your entire body.

Now you might be wondering, how much sleep do I need? Well, it depends on two factors, your age, and genetic makeup. Generally, an adult (18-64 years) should sleep for minimum 7 hours. Moreover, the sleep needs of individuals decrease as they grow young.

If you don’t fall in this age group or you want to know the sleep need of your kid, don’t worry. This article is all about it.

In this article, we’ll help you know how much sleep you need. Besides, we’ll also discuss some side effects of not getting enough sleep.

How much sleep do you need?

Age groupsAge rangeRecommended sleep time (hours)
New born0-3 month 14-17
infant4-12 months12-16
Toddler 1-2 years11-14
Pre-school3-5 years10-13 
School age 6-12 years9-12
Teen 13-18 years8-10 
adults18-64 years7-9 
Older adultOver 64 years7-8

Enough time to sleep is the time that you need to work optimally. The survey of the National health institute indicates that the average sleep time for an adult is 7 hours. 

Now the question is this sleeping time enough for better mental health? How much sleep do you need to spend healthy and active life? Well, it’s your age that decides the time you need to sleep at night. However, various other factors also affect the sleep needs of a person. 

Here’re the general guidelines about the sleep needs of different age groups according to CDC and National Sleep Foundation:

What are the other factors that affect your sleep needs?

Besides age, there are various factors that decide your sleep needs. For instance, 

  • The quality of Sleep:

 If you don’t have quality sleep, you will stay unrested for the next day. Besides, you would not be able to complete your daily tasks energetically. Ultimately you will feel sleepy the next day and should sleep more the next night to regain your energy. 

  • Sleep deprivation:

 If you sleep less for one day, it means you need more sleep the next day.   

  • Pregnancy:

 In pregnancy, women need to sleep more. The reason is hormonal changes. Besides, the changes in body shapes cause physical discomfort which leads to poor quality of sleep. Consequently, a pregnant woman needs to sleep more.  

  • Gender:

Research indicates that the sleep needs of women are higher than men. In other words, women sleep longer than men. However, the sleep quality of women is lower because of higher brain usage. 

Why do you need sleep? 

Sleep is an important body function that recharges your mind and body. If you sleep according to your sleep needs you will wake up alert and energize. Healthy sleep makes your brain work optimally. 

Here’s how important it is to sleep:

  • Regulate growth hormones in your body. These hormones boost appetite, metabolism, growth, and healing 
  • Decrease the risks of stroke and heart diseases. 
  • Boosts the functions of the brain, leading to enhanced power to concentrate and focus. 
  • Regulate immunity 
  • Help to manage body weight
  • Decrease the depression risks 
  • Keep you away from chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure and diabetes 
  • Improves efficiency and productive

What are the signs that indicate you’re not getting enough sleep?

Here’re some symptoms that indicate that you’re not getting enough sleep:

  • Less concentration
  • Tiredness
  • Weak memory
  • Puffy eyes or Dark circles under eyes
  • Irritability
  • Feeling hungry a time
  • Weight gain
  • Depression

Here’re the questions that you should ask yourself to find out if you’re getting enough sleep or not? 

  • DO you feel fresh and happy after you wake up?
  • Do you feel sleepy while performing everyday tasks?
  • Do you need caffeine to stay active?
  • Do you sleep at the same time the entire week?

Analyze your sleeping schedule and bring it back to track. Not getting enough sleep for a long time boosts chronic health issues, such as heart issues, blood pressure, mental illness, and higher risks of accidents. So, you must regulate your sleep as soon as possible.

How to improve your sleeping habits? 

Here’re the tips that should follow to improve your sleeping habits:

  • Set a sleeping schedule and stick to it even if it’s a weekend
  • Go to bed a little earlier than your schedule to sleep quickly 
  • Make sure your mattress is comfortable
  • Remove all the distractions in your room, such as turn off the light
  • Optimize the aroma and temperature of your bedroom 
  • Switch off your laptop and mobile phone 
  • Avoid consuming the use of alcohol and caffeine before you go to bed

If you want to know more about sleeping habits and the science behind sleep, you can join a sleeping fellow program. Sleep medicine fellowships are one-year programs that offer you clinical training in sleep medicine. You’ll gain the experience for the diagnosis of sleep disorder. 

Final thoughts…!!

To sum up, various factors affect how much sleep do you need? You must aim to sleep for 7-9 hours. However, you can use the CDC guidelines to exactly know for how long you should sleep.  

If you’re not getting enough sleep, you must consult a doctor.  

Sophie Turner
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