How Many Hours of Sleep Do You Really Need?

What do you understand by sleep?

Sleep is a key indicator of human’s overall well-being. The average man spends up to one-third of his life sleeping, and the overall state of man’s sleeping wellbeing remains an essential question throughout generations.

Why is sleep so important?

When it comes to sleep, a lot of questions arise. Why then is sleep crucial?

Sleep is more than just a time for your body and mind to be at rest. In fact, while you’re dead asleep, your body is most hard at work. During your sleeping time, your body rebuilds all the muscles that are worn down during the day and cleans away plaques that are usually produced in the brain.

The quality of the sleep you get affects directly your health both mentally and physically. Furthermore, the quality of your non-sleeping life which includes your daily productivity, emotional balance, brain health, immune system and your creativity is greatly affected by the quality of your sleep.

To clear you of the wrong thinking, sleep is not just a time when your body goes off. While we rest, the brain stays busy, overseeing maintenance biologically, that keeps the body running in its required condition, preparing you for the next day ahead. Without concrete hours of repairing sleep, you won’t be able to work, learn, create, and communicate at your required level, potential and standard.

By addressing any sleep problems and making time to get the sleep you need each night, your efficiency, and overall health will skyrocket. In fact, sleeping at night will let you get much more done during the day.

Not prioritizing sleep has negative health consequences

Usually, children and babies get enough sleep. Over the years, it has been estimated that over one-third of adults and two-thirds of University students don’t get adequate sleep each night. Sadly, not getting enough quality sleep causes much more harm than just feeling tired.

If you deprive yourself of quality sleep, you’re less capable of making good decisions, less creative and more likely to be involved in a car accident. This is partially due to the fact that not getting enough sleep harms the cognitive performance.

Even worse, not getting enough sleep also increases your chances of developing chronic diseases like obesity and heart disease. Also, since it’s the time when the body clears waste from the brain, it may be the reason why poor sleep seems to be associated with the risks of Alzheimer’s disease

How much sleep do you need?

This depends on several things.

As individuals, we all have unique needs and preferences, and the answer to the question on how much sleep we need is no different. Nonetheless, the amount of sleep needed per night is determined largely by your age.

The official recommendations for quality sleep duration are broken down by age group below;

  • Older adults of ages 65 and above should have a sleeping session of 7–8 hours
  • Adults of ages 18–64 years should have a sleeping session of 7–9 hours
  • Teenagers of ages 14–17 years should have a sleeping session of 8–10 hours
  • School children of ages 6–13 years should have a sleeping session of 9–11 hours
  • Preschoolers of ages 3–5 years should have a sleeping session of 10–13 hours
  • Toddlers of ages 1–2 years should have a sleeping session of 11–14 hours
  • Infants of ages 4–11 months should have a sleeping session of 12–15 hours
  • Newborns of ages 0–3 months should have a sleeping session of 14–17 hours

However, some other people are recommended to have less or more sleep due to the following factors;

Sleep Quality

The quality of your sleep can also impact how much you’d be needing. If you don’t have a quality sleep, you may find that you still feel tired after getting the norm you are used to.

Conversely, if you are the good quality sleeper, you may be able to manage better with a little less. This is not telling you to lessen it otherwise recommended. It’s not only significant to focus on sleeping long enough, but also on sleeping well enough.

Finally, many sleep disorders can have negative effects on sleep quality. If you observe that you aren’t sleeping well or are always tired and don’t know why it’s a good idea to see your doctor.

Genetic Makeup

Genetics is another major determinant of how many hours of sleep you need to get. It has been proven that certain genetic mutations can affect the duration of your sleep, at what time of the day you prefer to sleep.

For example, those with one specific genetic mutation or the other get by fine with something around six hours, whereas people without any genetic makeup need about eight hours, at least. Unfortunately, your genetic makeup is not something you can change, and there’s no practical way to know if you carry one of these mutations. Therefore, anyone with a genetic mutation is negatively affected by sleep deprivation

It is therefore important to pay attention to how you feel to determine if you’re getting the right amount of sleep.

External sources for this article include Helpguide1, Sleepfoundation2, and healthline3

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