How Much Should You Really Sleep

, Psychologist, liyap.com 2.7K reads

This subject has kept professionals, as well as everyone else, intrigued for a while now, because, as unbelievable as it may seem, we are still trying to figure sleep out.

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Each individual is unique, and not everyone requires the same amount of sleep, to feel rested and function properly. Basic observation and experience can confirm this.

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We Are All Unique

While your coworker may seem refreshed and energetic at the start of the work day, you may still be holding on to that cup of coffee, as if your life depends on it. Perhaps you’re full of energy at noon, while everyone else performs their tasks in sluggish silence. Everyone has their rhythm, despite the similarity of sleep patterns, and that’s ok. Nevertheless, there are some ranges that indicate if we are sleeping enough.

What scientists believe about those ranges, has changed over time, to favor new findings in the study of sleep. According to the American National Sleep Foundation, this is the recommended amount of sleep you should get, according to your age:

AGE

SLEEP RANGE

Newborns

14-17 hours per day.

Infants

12-15 hours per day.

Toddlers

11-14 hours per day.

Preschoolers

10-13 hours per day.

School-aged children

9-11 hours per day.

Teenagers

8-10 hours per day.

Young adults (18-25)

7-9 hours per day.

This is a new age category, and it’s being studied if the range should be widened.

Adults (26-64)

7-9 hours per day.

Older adults (65 and more)

7-8 hour per day.

We humans spend approximately one-third of our lives sleeping, it’s necessary for our health and general well-being. That being said, we need to sleep different amounts of time depending on our age, and basically, as the chart states, the older we get, the less sleep we need. Still, keep in mind that the numbers in the chart are not set in stone, and may vary slightly from person to person.

What Does Science Say?

Sometimes You Need More Sleep

There are some instances, though, in which we need to increase the time we sleep. For example, during pregnancy, while recovering from an illness, and when sleep deprived. Yes, if you don’t get enough sleep, you owe your body that rest time and need to increase your sleep quantity and quality.

Lack of sufficient sleep, over longer periods of time, can result in numerous unpleasant, and even dangerous consequences, such as difficulty performing physical and cognitive tasks, irritability, tiredness, deteriorated mental health.

Not Too Little, Not Too Much

Other studies indicate that both lack of sleep and oversleeping can lead to an increased mortality rate. Therefore, the importance of sleep is not merely in how energetic you may feel but is rather a matter that can seriously impact your life. It sounds very dramatic put that way, but it is a reality we have to face. Sleep should become a priority in your life.

Understand Your Sleep

To figure out how much sleep you need, ask yourself -and be mindful when answering- the following questions:

  • On a regular day, do you wake up feeling rested?

  • How would you describe the mood you usually wake up in?

  • How often do you feel that way? (the mood you previously chose)

  • Is that attitude positive or negative?

  • How often do you wake up with body aches?

  • After a restless night, what differences do you notice compared to a regular one? List them and be as specific as you can.

Assessing your sleep pattern and the way it influences your emotional state, along with using the chart above, can be of great help. It would allow you to figure out exactly how much sleep you need, to feel well, which may, in fact, increase your chances of living longer.

Full reference: 

(Jan 28, 2016). How Much Should You Really Sleep. Retrieved Dec 19, 2018 from Explorable.com: https://explorable.com/e/how-much-should-you-really-sleep

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