How Much Sleep Do You Need?

It is found from the National Sleep Foundation that a world-class study that took more than two years of research to complete an update to the most-excited guidelines on how much sleep you need at each age. Sleep is the key to your physical health and emotional vitality. But how many hours of sleep you need is exactly depending on your age or your stage of development? Sleep is more important for mental functions like mood regulation, physical health, memory consolidation, alertness, etc.

A few hours of sleep or poor sleep could be the way to some emotional or physical problems starting from diabetes to obesity. Due to sleep loss, there are many changes in the way the body handles glucose, which might lead to the state of insulin resistance. It is also shown that lack of sleep alters the regulation of appetite which will lead to overeating or food choices that may also lead to obesity or being overweight. It is very important to pay attention to your own individual needs by assessing how you feel on different amounts of sleep.

Sleep is fundamental to good health 

Proper sleep is very necessary for your health. Good sleep is also vital to good health as eating foods or getting enough exercise. Sleep is more important for your body to take rest, even if you are asleep; your body is hard at work. During sleep, your body rebuilds the muscles which you have owned during the day and cleans away the harmful brasses and waste that are produced in the brain. And these are the vital processes that keep both your body and mind running properly. Your mind also responds to those important emotions and experiences from the day.

Sleep is also necessary to regulate your emotions. If you are not getting proper sleep for one night, may increase your emotional response to negative feelings. Lack of sleep makes it difficult for your body to regulate essential things like good metabolic function, immune system, appetite control, and your ability to maintain your body weight. Sleep also makes an important role to regulate the circadian rhythm. It means that the inner clock runs approximately for a 24-hour schedule and regulates when you feel sleepy. It may help in regulating things like immune function, metabolism, inflammation, etc.

Not getting enough sleep or sleeping at odd times of the day may throw off this inner clock. It is important not only to get enough sleep each night but also important to get a good quality of sleep. Proper sleep is necessary to so many aspects of good health, and your biggest priority is to make getting enough sleep each night.

Mental Benefits  

1. A minimum amount of qualitative sleep improves your ability to gain new insights into complex problems by 50%.

2. Proper sleep of one night may increase the ability to learn new motor skills by 20%.

Physical Benefits 

1. Good sleep regulates the secretion of insulin and also maintains healthy blood sugar levels.

2. It improves the performance of athletes.

3. Proper sleep promotes skin health and a youthful appearance.

4. Proper sleep also increases testosterone levels.

5. It encourages healthy cell division and helps in preventing cancer.

How much sleep you need depending upon your age or stage of development 

Every individual has unique requirements or preferences. According to that, they also need a proper amount of sleep. The amount of sleep you need per night is determined by your age. The followings are some official recommendations for sleep duration.

1. Newborns (0-3 months) – 14-17 hours

2. Infants (4-11 months) – 12-15 hours

3. Toddlers (1-2 years) – 11-14 hours

4. Preschoolers (3-5 years) – 10-13 hours

5. School children (6-13 years) – 9-11 hours

6. Teenagers (14-17 years) – 8-10 hours

7. Adults (14-64 years) – 7-9 hours

8. Older adults (65+) – 7-8 hours

Some healthy sleep habit includes the followings;

1. Do not take a heavy meal before bed.

2. Do exercise daily in the day.

3. Don’t take long naps especially not late in the day.

4. You have to make sure that in a little natural light in the early morning hours which helps to keep your sleep-wake cycle regulated.

5. You have to make a relaxing routine and stick to it.

Tips for better sleep  

Since qualitative sleep is more important, make sure that you are sleeping well all night. Here are a few points to improve your sleep;

1. Make a bedtime routine  Follow a relaxing routine before bed may help you to get in the mood to sleep. For example, listening to calm music may help to improve the quality of sleep.

2. Follow a regular schedule  Going to bed at the same time regularly is a good habit which maintains your inner clock.

3. Reduce the use of electronics during sleep  The excessive use of any electronic gadgets like cell phones or even exposure to bright lights before bed may affect your sleep.

4. Create a comfortable environment  Sleeping in a dark room at a comfortable temperature may help you sleep better. Being too active or too warm before bed is related to poor sleep.

5. Practice meditation  Relaxation, medication, and daily exercise may help in improving sleep quality as well as brain function.

6. Reduce alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine  It has been studied that intake of heave amount of alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine in the evening affects your sleep. Therefore, try to avoid caffeine in the evening.

7. Be more active  It has shown from many studies that being inactive can affect your sleep. So that getting daily exercise during the day may help you to sleep better at night.