How Much Sleep Do You Need

27/06/2012

Though many of us try to survive on as little rest as possible, it is actually important to ask yourself: how much sleep do you need and are you getting that much? After all, as much as sleeping may seem like an unproductive time and you may have a lot that you need to get done, it is actually a vital part of your physical, mental, and emotional health.

If you aren’t consistently getting an adequate amount, you could be putting yourself at risk of a number of symptoms and conditions. Moreover, you’ll be lowering your potential productivity, and making things a lot harder than they should be. Your mental sharpness will be decreased, meaning that every thought is more of a struggle than it needs to be. You will be more physically drained than necessary. Furthermore, you’ll me emotionally spent, meaning that you’ll be more likely to experience mood swings, a hot temper, and unnecessary unhappiness.

So how much sleep do you need? The answer isn’t the same for everyone. There is no single magic number that covers every person in the world. It does depend on a number of factors. The National Institutes of Health states that the average adult will receive fewer than 7 hours every night. In fact, many people think that 6 or 7 hours would be the same as sleeping in! Unfortunately, this means that many people are actually living a sleep deprived life, which is both unpleasant and potentially dangerous.

On average, depending on lifestyle, health, and other factors, an adult should receive between 7.5 and 9 hours every night in order to achieve optimal levels of rest. Children, on the other hand, will need more than that, as will teens. Though older adults do need less rest than their younger counterparts, seniors should still receive 7.5 to 8 hours to function at their best. As sleep struggles are common among older adults, a nap during the daytime can help to supplement that need.

How much sleep do you need? Average sleep needs for healthy individuals based on age are as follows:

  • Newborns up to 2 months old should have 12 to 18 hours
  • Infants aged 3 months to a year should have 14 to 15 hours
  • Toddlers from 1 to 3 years old should receive 12 to 14 hours
  • Preschoolers aged 3 to 5 years should sleep 11 to 13 hours
  • School aged kids between 5 and 12 years old should have 10 to 11 hours
  • Pre-teens and teenagers from 12 to 18 years should get 8.5 to 10 hours
  • Adults over the age of 18 need 7.5 to 9 hours

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