Sleep is essential at any age. It powers your mind, restores the body, and fortifies every system of the body. But to acquire all these benefits you should know how much sleep do I need. Sleep is essential for a healthy lifestyle. Have you ever noticed how much sleep do I need? And how much sleep do I get? Getting enough sleep is essential and critical to your health.
The amount of sleep you get directly affects everything such as weight, body metabolism, mood, and brain function.
It is a common observation that many people follow the same wake-up time but the sleep time may vary.
How much sleep do I need will change throughout your lifetime? Infants need up to 17 hours of sleep while adults need only 7 hours of sleep.
Even within the same age group, people have different sleep needs.
National sleep foundation
It advises that a healthy adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep per night. While babies, young children, and teens need even more sleep for their growth and development. People over 65 years should also get 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
The above guidance tells about the general recommendation about how much sleep do I need. After the 1st step, you should know about your individual need that is based on activity level and health.
Sleep recommended for each age group
|Birth to 3 months||14-17 hrs|
|1-2 years||11-14 hrs|
|3-5 years||10-13 hrs|
|6-12 years||9-12 hrs|
|1-18 years||8-10 hrs|
|18-64 years||7-9 hrs|
|65 years and older||7-8 hrs|
According to the national sleep foundation, nightly sleep is broken down into nine age groups.
These guidelines recommend a range of nightly duration for healthy individuals.
How much sleep do I need?
The national sleep foundation guidelines serve as a rule of thumb for how much sleep children and adults need. The ideal amount of sleep can vary from person to person.
Deciding how much sleep do I need means considering the overall health, daily activities, and sleep patterns. To find out your sleep range some questions come under consideration:
- Are you healthy and happy on 7 hours of sleep? Or notice that you need more hours of sleep to get a healthy life?
- Are you suffering from any disease?
- Do you have a high level of day energy expenditure? Are you indulged in sports or work in a labor-intensive job?
- Do your daily activities require alertness?
- Do you feel sleepy during your daily activities?
- Are you facing sleeping issues?
- Are you dependent on caffeine to get through the day?
- On an open schedule, do you sleep more than you do on a typical working day?
Starting from the national sleep foundation recommendations and then use your answers to these questions to find out your optimal amount of sleep.
How national sleep foundation recommendations were created?
To create these recommendations, about how much sleep do I need? the national sleep foundation convened a panel of 18 experts from different fields of science and medicine. These members reviewed hundreds of validated research studies about sleep duration.
After the study of shreds of evidence, the panel used many voting rounds and carry out discussions to narrow down the ranges for the amount of sleep needed at different age groups. This process took over nine months to complete.
Other organizations such as the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and sleep research society (SRS) have published recommendations about the amount of sleep for children and adults and the results coincided with that of the national sleep foundation.
How to improve your sleep?
Once you find out the optimal hours of sleep you need. The next step is to make a plan to make your goal a reality.
One thing that should be kept in mind that you should make sleep a priority in your daily schedule. You should not cut sleep short due to work and social activities. Sleep is essential to be at your best both mentally and physically.
Improve your sleep hygiene
Improving sleep hygiene includes bedroom sets and other sleep-related habits. Improved sleep hygiene helps to get better sleep.
There are the following examples of improving your sleep hygiene
1. You should stick to the same schedule every day even on weekends.
2. To fall asleep quickly try to practice a relaxing pre-bed routine.
3. Use a comfortable and supportive mattress and choose quality pillows and bedding.
4. Reduce the potential disruption from sound and light.
5. You should disconnect from electronic devices like mobile phones and laptops for half an hour before bed.
6.monitor your caffeine and alcohol intake and try to avoid consuming them in the hours before bed.
Role of parents in improving sleep habits of kids
As a parent, many of the tips mentioned above can be applied to help your child get the recommended sleep. Similarly, pointers for parents are helpful in the case of teens, especially those who are suffering from sleep challenges.
Remember one thing! It is not just about sleep quantity but quality sleep matters.
It is observed by you that sometimes you get the recommended hours of sleep but still, you don’t feel fresh. This is due to the reason that your sleep was interrupted. Improving sleep hygiene can boost the quality as well as quantity of sleep.
You can try using a national sleep foundation sleep diary to track your sleep habits. It will tell you about your sleep patterns.
Signs of improper sleep
Due to the workload and social activities, sleep deprivation is common. Getting very little sleep can affect many of the body systems. You may also suffer from:
2. Obstructive sleep apnea
3. Chronic pain
4. You will feel drowsy
5. You will have an irritated mood
6. You will become less productive
7. Your appetite will increased
8. Dark circles under the eyes and dark complexion
You should keep in mind that sleep and your mental health are connected. That’s why sleep deprivation leads to stress and anxiety.
Importance of proper sleep
Sleep is essential and crucial for the following reasons:
1. It regulates the release of hormones in your body and these hormones control your appetite, metabolism, and growth.
2. Boost the functioning of the brain and productivity.
3. It reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.
4. It helps to maintain your immune system.
5. It also lowers the risk of depression.
6. It also helps to manage weight.
Tips for better sleep
Sleep is essential and crucial for health so consider the following tips for better sleep,
- You should exercise regularly but try to avoid exercise close to your bedtime because it may cause interrupted sleep.
- Try to expose yourself to the sunlight and bright light during the daytime to maintain your circadian rhythms that affect your sleep awake cycle.
- Don’t take long naps in the afternoon.
- Try to wake up at the same time daily
- Limit alcohol, caffeine in the evening. They can interrupt your sleep.
- Switch off electronic devices like your mobile phone and laptop half an hour before bed.
- Try to have a relaxing routine before going to bed like a warm bath
- Turn off the lights shortly before bedtime, it will help your brain understand that it’s time to sleep.
- Turn down the thermostat of your bedroom. 65°F is an ideal sleep temperature
- Avoid looking at TV or laptop screens.
- Read a book that will help you relax in bed.
3. Close your eyes and relax your muscles and enjoy the steady breathing.