Sleep & Health
How many hours did you sleep last night? Studies have shown that on average a person spends one-third of our lives asleep. During this time our body fixes itself and refreshes the brain for a brand new day. To function at your best, it is important to make sure you are getting a good night’s sleep. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is one of the most important things you can do to get more sleep and improve the quality of your sleep. Among other things, setting and maintaining a similar bedtime and wake-up time can help your circadian rhythm stay in tune with your sleep cycle. Setting your sleep schedule is easy, and it starts with knowing how much sleep is enough.
As you get older, the amount of sleep your body needs changes. A newborn may need at least 14 hours of sleep, while an older adult will only need about 7 hours. Within each age group, people still will have different sleep needs. Some may need more or less sleep, so you have to decide how many hours is best for your needs. According to Harvard Medical Review, about 50% of people get less than the recommended amount of sleep. This leaves a lot of people with chronic sleep deprivation.
Here are the average hours of sleep that each age group needs:
Hours of Sleep Guidelines*
|Age Group||Hours of Sleep Recommended|
|Newborns (0-3 months)||14-17 hours|
|Infants (4-11 months)||12-15 hours|
|Toddlers (1-2 years)||11-14 hours|
|Preschoolers (3-5)||10-13 hours|
|School age children (6-13)||9-11 hours|
|Teenagers (14-17)||8-10 hours|
|Younger adults (18-25)||7-9 hours|
|Adults (26-64)||7-9 hours|
|Older Adults (65+)||7-8 hours|
*These are general recommendations from the National Sleep Foundation. Some people may need more or less sleep depending on genetics and sleep quality.
How do I know if I am getting enough sleep?
As you are adjusting your hours asleep, you should evaluate how you are feeling throughout the day. If you are feeling more alert and have longer lasting energy, then you are probably getting enough sleep. Make sure you are maintaining a consistent sleep schedule to keep this up.
How to get on a Sleep Schedule?
Choose a realistic bed time and wake-up time, then stick to these as much as life allows. Try not to sleep in for more than an hour or so on the weekends. Your circadian rhythm will start acclimating to this schedule after just a few days, which will help you fall asleep faster at night and wake up more easily in the morning.
Why is sleep important?
Sleep is a critical part of survival and helping your body be functional. It helps with maintaining your immune system, boost brain function (focus, productivity, and brain function), weight management, emotional balance, and so much more. Sacrificing sleep can take a toll on these aspects of your life. Your body needs sleep to help maintain and condition your body for daily life.
Making sleep a priority allows you to improve your productivity throughout the day and allow your overall health to improve.