Is 6 hours of sleep enough? or How much sleep do we really need?
As babies, we sleep 10-14 hours a day, but as adults, 6-8 hours of sleep every day is a must. Less than 6 hours of sleep is not great for the body.
If you are someone who isn’t sure about how much sleep you need, then this article is for you. Here, we’ll explore the importance of sleep, how many hours of sleep you need, sleep facts, hours of sleep by age, and much more!
Why Is Sleep Important?
Sleep is very important for the body to function properly, it directly affects mental and physical health. It impacts our productivity, moods, energy, emotional balance, immunity, creativity, and everything we do. If we do not get the minimum recommended amount of sleep then everything seems to go off track.
Sleep is the foundation of good health. It is much more than just resting time. When you sleep, your body repairs and refreshes itself. There’s a reason why you feel light in the morning after a heavy day, why your fatigue goes away after a good night’s sleep, and why you feel energetic after it.
Sleep is the ultimate key for your mind and body. Without enough sleep, you won’t be able to stay active, feel fresh, and do the things you usually do. Lack of sleep can also leave you sleep-deprived, creating other problems for you.
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
Did you know, 45% of people in the US say poor sleep has affected their lives at least once in the past week. As we grow, our sleep needs change, and hence it is crucial that we understand how many hours of sleep we need and how we can manage our circadian rhythm. This comparative guide will help you find out the required amount of sleep you so desperately need.
Hours of Sleep Needed
0 – 3 Months
14 – 17 Hours
4 – 11 months
12 – 15 Hours
1 – 2 Years
11 – 14 Hours
3 – 5 Years
10 – 13 Hours
6 – 13 Years
9 – 11 Hours
14 – 17 Years
8 – 10 Hours
18 – 64 Years
7 – 9 Hours
7 – 8 Hours
What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?
When you miss out on the minimum amount of sleep, you invite health issues to live with you. Soon after your sleep cycle is messed up, the effects of sleep deprivation kick in. Just after 2-3 days of disturbed sleep, you might feel tired after waking up or won’t have enough energy to do things. And you might feel like sleeping for 12 hours straight!
Here are a couple of things that happen when you do not get enough sleep.
It lowers immunity
Low sleep levels can lower your immune system easily. Your body doesn’t get enough time to repair and restore itself. Hence, it directly affects your immune system.
You can have heart issues
Lack of sleep can speed up the heartbeats real fast. It could also lead you to develop temporary hypertension.
A mental breakdown can happen
If you are not sleeping at all for days, a mental breakdown can happen, or you can start hallucinating. Lack of sleep can also increase the risk of developing early Alzheimer’s disease.
You could get diabetes
Sleep plays an important role in breaking down the sugars in the blood, and when you do not sleep, you compromise your blood sugar levels and increase your chances of getting diabetes.
Concentration is pretty low
When you can’t sleep, you can’t function properly. The brain functions like memory, thinking, alertness, problem-solving, and concentration are weakened when you do not sleep.
You gain weight
According to a study, people who get less than 5 hours of sleep are more likely to be overweight.
So now you know why sleep is important and what will happen if you skip out on those precious hours of sleep.
Causes of Not Getting Enough Sleep
Poor sleep habits can be due to many factors, or you might be following an unhealthy lifestyle. Whatever the reason may be, you need to scan your daily activities and make out time for a healthy sleep schedule. If you can’t pinpoint the actual reasons, maybe you can identify if you are following these habits that end up disturbing your sleep cycle.
You should ideally eat 3-4 hours before bed. When you eat late, you push your sleep cycle as it takes time for the food to leave your stomach. And if you’ve had a large meal and sleep directly after it, it could result in acid reflux or could result in weight gain.
Using phones before sleeping
It is proven that blue lights emitted by cellphones are the culprits that prevent you from sleeping. Ideally, you should avoid Electronic devices 1 to 2 hours before going to bed.
Living a sedentary lifestyle could also be a reason you find it hard to fall asleep. Exercising helps the body to release the energy which regulates your sleep better.
Taking a nap
Sleeping in the afternoon could disturb your sleep cycle as you won’t be able to achieve all four stages of sleep during the night. Hence you should avoid taking a nap during the day.
Stress and sleep are directly related. It could be another reason why you find it hard to fall asleep. Reducing stress would really help you to sleep better.
sleep disorders like insomnia could be the major reason why you cannot fall asleep. If you have insomnia, you should get professional help to get it cured.
Benefits of Getting Enough Sleep
It’s a known fact that sleep builds up the immune system. So when you sleep, you get more time to repair your cells and function properly.
Sleep is a major reason you have less fatigue, a clear mind, and happy emotions. Sometimes you feel great after sleeping from a heavy day. Sleep helps you relax and unwind properly and even balances the hormones.
A healthy mind equals a better mood. When you sleep enough, your brain processes emotions better and lets you be positive and happy.
When you sleep better, you reset your energy levels. Sleep drains the fatigue from the body and helps you to reboot your body better.
When you have enough sleep, your brain functions better, and you are able to remember and process information better.
Now that you know the benefits of sleeping, you can set your sleeping schedule and stick to it. The best time to sleep would be around 10 pm. It will give you extra 2 hours if you wake up by 8 am.
Tips for Better Sleep: How to Get Enough Sleep
If you are struggling with sleeping routines or wish to know some tips for better sleep, then you can pick out the ones mentioned below.
- Read something before sleeping
- Use aromatherapy
- Take a warm bath before bed
- Use essential oils
- Eat healthy
- Avoid caffeine during the evening
- Walk before sleeping
- Choose the right mattress
- Set the right lighting
- Try some herbs for sleep
- Set a sleep routine
- Exercise daily
- Meditate regularly
- Avoid phones before sleeping
These simple tips should help you to get better sleep. If you suffer from insomnia or sleep disorders, then getting medical help would really benefit you. Choosing a healthy lifestyle and maintaining sleep hygiene could also help you to get enough sleep.
If you follow these tips and put up a schedule, then you won’t have to search for ‘how long does it take to fall asleep.
Summing It Up
So now you know how many hours of sleep you need each night to get that beautiful glow, to get that body moving, to get rid of those cramps, etc. If you have a poor sleep cycle, you can gradually increase your sleep cycle length with time. So, take some time to think about your sleep patterns before you drift away with your late-night show binges.
Sleep is more than just a beautiful rest. It is the supreme need of your body. So, you should calculate your average sleep time and get a good deep sleep every night.
Anything higher than 9 hours of sleep is too much. You should maintain a sleep journal to monitor your sleep patterns and durations.
The world record for staying awake is 11 days. Although in 2-3 days, the symptoms of sleep deprivation start to kick in. So you better maintain a good sleep cycle to stay healthy and fresh.
Approximately 1-2 hours of REM sleep is enough for the body. People who sleep 7-8 hours daily get this amount of sleep.
Sleeping for 6-7 hours is essential for changing the composition of your body.
Sleep enhances muscle recovery through protein synthesis and helps the body to repair the cells and tissues too.
Yes. Experts believe that women need more sleep than men because they have low-quality sleep as compared to men.
Yes. People who sleep for 10-12 hours are known as long sleepers, and adults who sleep for such a duration have a better quality of sleep than others.