How Much Sleep Do You Really Need? 

How Much Sleep Do You Really Need? 

If you often feel sluggish in the afternoon or rely on the snooze button, there is a chance that you don’t get enough sleep. Unfortunately, failure to get quality sleep can cause more severe problems than simply feeling sluggish at certain times.
It can make you less capable of making good decisions, less productive, and increase the likelihood to be involved in a car accident and die prematurely.
This might be, partly, because lack of adequate sleep can interfere with your cognitive performance.

How many sleep-hours do you need?

Most people feel quite satisfied with inadequate sleep as long as they can get by. But it is important to note that there is a significant difference between the amount of sleep you need to really function optimally and the amount you need to just get by.

The National Institutes of Health provides that in the today’s fast-paced world, the average adult sleeps less than six-to-seven hours every night. This might sound good in the current age, but in reality, it is a recipe for chronic sleep deprivation.

So does it mean there is standard sleep duration? Sleep requirements actually vary from one person to another. Healthy adults need between seven-to-nine hours of quality sleep per night to be able to function optimally.

Children and teens, however, need more than this.

Official recommendations provided by the National Sleep Foundations are broken down by age group as follows:

Newborn to three months 14-17 hours
Four to 11 months 12-15 hours
One to two years 11-14 hours
Three to five years 10-13 hours
Six to thirteen years 9-12 hours
14 to 17 years 8-10 hours
Young adults (18-25 years) 7-9 hours
Adults 26 to 64 7-9 hours
Older Adults (65 and above) 7-8 hours

If you now think six hours of sleep can be enough for you, think again. According to researchers at the University of California, only less than three percent of the population has a gene that enables them to do well with a six-hour sleep at night. For the rest of the population, six hours simply don’t work.

Evaluate how you feel in the course of the day. This is the best way you can figure out whether you are meeting your daily sleep needs. If you have enough sleep, you will remain energetic and alert from the time you wake up till your regular bedtime.

Other major signs you are not getting good-quality sleep include:

Need an alarm clock so as to be able to wake up on time
Feel sluggish in the course of the day, especially afternoon.
Frequently get sleepy
Need to nap frequently
Fall asleep when relaxing or watching TV
Fall asleep as soon as one gets to bed
Feel the need to sleep a lot during weekends

Getting enough sleep at night is important to staying healthy. So ensure you are sleeping well at night. Avoid or minimize habits that can interfere with the quality of your sleep such as taking caffeine and eating sugary foods at night.

Also embrace others like sticking to a regular sleep schedule and getting exercise.

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