Sleeping is essential at any age, according to scientific evidences. It recharges the mind, heals the body, and fortifies nearly every system in the body. But the most common question is that how much sleep do I need to reap these advantages?
Why sleep is important?
Sleep is an essential function of our body that allows our body and mind to recharge, leaving us refreshed and alert when we wake up. Healthy sleeping also helps the body to remain healthy and stave off diseases. Without enough sleeping time, the brain cannot function properly. This can impair your abilities to concentrate, think clearly, and process memories. Most adults require between seven and nine hours of nightly sleeping. Children and teenagers need substantially more sleeping time, particularly if they are younger than five years of age. Work schedules, day-to-day stressors, a disruptive bedroom environment, and medical conditions can all prevent us from receiving enough sleeping time. A healthy diet and positive lifestyle habits can help ensure an adequate amount of sleeping each night – but for some, chronic lack of sleep may be the first sign of a sleep disorder. Moreover, daytime sleeping cannot replace night sleeping, so you must complete your sleeping hours in night, instead of day.
How much sleep do I need?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, healthy adults require 7 to 9 sleeping hours per night. Babies, young children, and teenagers require even more sleep to allow for proper growth and development. People over the age of 65 should also get 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Knowing the general guidelines for how much sleep you require is the first step. Then, consider your individual needs in light of factors such as your activity level and overall health. Finally, it is essential to follow healthy sleep tips in order to get the full night’s sleep that is recommended.
The amount of sleep you require is determined by a variety of factors, the most important of which is your age. While everyone’s sleep needs are different, here are some general guidelines for different age groups:
Other factors, in addition to age, can influence how many hours of sleeping you require. As an example:
Sleep hygiene: You are not getting enough quality sleep if it is frequently interrupted. The quantity and quality of your sleeping are equally important.
Sleep deprivation: When you are sleep deprived, your need for sleeping increases.
Pregnancy: Poor sleeping quality can may be caused by hormonal changes and physical discomfort.
Aging: Older adults require approximately the same sleeping amount as younger adults. However, as you get older, your sleeping patterns may change. Older adults sleep more lightly, take longer to fall asleep, and their sleeping is for shorter periods of time than younger adults. Older adults also have a habit of waking up several times during the night.
Getting the recommended amount on a regular basis is associated with improved health in children, including improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional control, quality of life, and mental and physical health. Adults whose sleeping time is less than seven hours per night on a regular basis have been linked to poor health, including weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and depression. Talk to your doctor or your child’s doctor if you’re concerned about the amount of sleeping you or your child is getting.
Why do I feel sleepy all the time?
There can be various reasons why you feel sleepy all the time, so of them are:
- Medical conditions like anemia, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, diabetes, heart disease, infection and pregnancy
- Not getting enough high-quality sleep
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies, especially of iron, vitamin B12 and vitamin D5
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Caffeine overconsumption
- Consuming too many refined carbs
- Increased exposure to bright screens
- Not eating enough calories
- Trying to sleep in an environment that isn’t conducive to sound sleep
- Lacking a bedtime routine or having a routine that doesn’t prepare you for falling asleep
- Exercising within a few hours of bedtime
- Inadequate hydration
- Napping late in the day
- Relying on energy drinks
How to improve sleep?
Once you’ve established a nightly goal based on the number of hours of sleeping you require, it’s time to plan how to improve sleep. Begin by prioritizing it in your schedule. This entails budgeting for the hours you require so that work or social activities do not take precedence over it. While it may be tempting to cut sleeping short in the short term, it does not pay off because sleeping is essential for being at your best both mentally and physically.
Improving your sleeping hygiene, which includes your bedroom environment and sleep-related habits, is a tried-and-true method for getting more rest. Improvements in sleep hygiene include:
- Maintaining the same sleep schedule on a daily basis, even on weekends.
- Developing a relaxing pre-bedtime routine to help you fall asleep faster.
- Choosing a supportive and comfortable mattress and outfitting it with quality pillows and bedding.
- You should choose the best sleeping position for you according to your health.
- Light and sound disruptions are minimized, while the temperature and aroma of your bedroom are optimized.
- Disconnecting from electronic devices such as phones and laptops for at least a half-hour before going to bed.
- Caffeine and alcohol consumption should be carefully monitored, and they should be avoided in the hours before bedtime.
- If you’re a parent, many of the same tips apply to ensure that your children and teenagers get the recommended amount of sleep for their age.
Tips for parents can be especially beneficial for teens, who face a variety of unique sleeping challenges. Sleeping more is an important part of the equation, but keep in mind that it’s not just about the quantity of sleep. Quality sleep is also important, and it is possible to get the hours you require but not sleep well. Because your sleeping is fragmented or non-restorative, you don’t feel refreshed. Fortunately, improving your sleeping hygiene frequently improves both the quantity and quality of your sleeping.
If you are experiencing the symptoms such as excessive daytime sleepiness, chronic snoring, leg cramps or tingling, difficulty breathing during sleeping, chronic insomnia, or another symptom that is preventing you from sleeping well, you should consult your primary care doctor or a sleeping professional to determine the underlying cause. To track your sleeping habits, you can use our Sleep-time Diary. This can reveal information about your sleeping habits and requirements. If you have ongoing sleeping problems, it can also be useful to bring with you to the doctor.