Sleep Chart… How much sleep do you need each night!? 💤
How much sleep do I need? That’s a question that’s probably been on your mind many times before. If you’re still wondering whether there is a right or wrong answer, this article will give you an insight on why sleep is so essential, recognize signs that you’re not sleeping enough, and sleep guidelines according to age and tips on how to get better sleep.
Sleep Guidelines by Age
The amount of sleep that you need changes throughout life. For example, infants spend most of the day sleeping, while most adults need around eight hours of sleep. Also, each person is different. That’s why some people will be fully rested with seven hours of sleep, while others will need nine hours.
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) and the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) recommend specific guidelines based on age . According to these guidelines, here’s how much sleep you need based on age:
- Newborns (0-3 months): Between 14 and 17 hours
- Infants (4-11 months): Between 12 to 16 hours
- Toddlers (1-2 years old):Between 11 and 14 hours
- Preschoolers (3-5 years old): Between 10 and 13 hours
- School-aged kids (6-12 years old):Between 9 and 12 hours
- Teens (13-18 years old):Between 8 and 10 hours
- Young adults (18-25 years old): Between 7 and 9 hours
- Adults (25-64 years old):Between 7 and 9 hours
- Older Adults (64 and up): Between 7 to 8 hours
These are all recommendations that are based on research and should help you understand the hours of sleep you need to stay healthy and well-rested. There are always people in the same age group as you who will need extra hours while others only need a few hours of sleep.
Why is Sleep Important?
Sleep is a crucial function that your body and mind need . When you sleep your body goes through restorative phases that are essential for the function of various systems.
Your brain also needs sleep to recharge so that you can be more productive when you wake up. It’s a function that improves your creativity, memory, concentration, and more. Lack of sleep can make you feel exhausted, make it difficult to remember things, and worsen your memory which will cause you to struggle throughout the day.
Sleep is also connected with some of the hormones in your body. Proper sleep is crucial because it regulates hormones that are responsible for your appetite. If you don’t sleep enough, you will feel hungry, and you might end up gaining weight. People who sleep less are more likely to develop obesity.
Sleep also regulates the hormones that control your metabolism and growth. While you sleep, your body regenerates and repairs cells that are not only a part of your tissues, but some are a part of its metabolic system. This means if you sleep more, your body will be more prepared to fight infections and common colds.
Good sleep promotes better athletic performance. You don’t have to be a professional athlete to know how important physical activity is for your health. While you sleep, your body rests and restores; which is why you will feel better in the morning and ready to be physically active. You may have heard before that professional athletes have a strict sleeping schedule that helps them get the ultimate number of hours each night so that they are ready to perform better. This is closely related to your entire well-being.
Another reason why sleep is crucial is because of your mental health. Sleep deprivation can lead to anxiety and depression, as well as worsen these two conditions.
Now, the scariest part, that might convince you to always get those eight hours of sleep is that lack of sleep is connected to chronic diseases, including diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Some studies confirm these claims, so make sure that you go to bed at the appropriate time and get the hours recommended for your age group.
Sleep not only helps you to be active, but it also supports your social life. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you will feel tired and that can affect your social life.
As you can see, sleeping well and getting the hours you need in bed at night is very important. Sleep is tightly connected to all of the systems in your body, your mental health, and your social life.
Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep
Depriving your body of sleep is something that can be harmful to your health, especially if you do it often. There are various signs of sleep deprivation that you should recognize. Lack of sleep can affect your body in so many ways, including restorative functions, cognitive, and more. Below are just a few signs that you’re not getting enough sleep:
You will notice changes in your eyes and skin whenever you don’t get enough sleep. For example, puffy eyes with dark circles are a dead giveaway. Sometimes you’ll notice that your eyes are red as well. When it comes to skin, lack of sleep can cause wrinkles, breakouts, swelling, and more.
Bad Memory And Concentration
As we mentioned, sleep deprivation can negatively affect your cognitive functions. You will feel drowsy, and you’ll find it hard to remember things, impair your decision making abilities , hard to concentrate and do everyday tasks.
Be Hungry And Gain Weight
The hormones that control your hunger can be off-balance, so you will feel hungrier. This will eventually lead to weight gain.
Affects Your Mood
Yes, if you’re moody throughout the day, now you know why. You are more susceptible to mood changes if you’re not getting enough sleep. In other words, it affects your emotional state, might lead to depression, anxiety  , and the quality of your life.
Your Libido Is Not What It Used To Be
Lack of sleep is connected with tiredness and fatigue. This can eventually negatively affect your libido and intimacy. It might end up being a problem in your relationship.
You Want More Junk Food
Another tale-tale sign of sleep deprivation is craving junk food. If donuts, cheeseburgers, and bubbly drinks are on your mind all the time, you might not be getting enough sleep.
You’re Addicted To Caffeine
Lack of sleep will fuel your caffeine addiction. The less you sleep, the more tired you are, the more you want to solve that with coffee.
Tips for Better Sleep
There are certain things you can do for a night of better sleep . First of all, you need to set a fixed sleeping schedule whenever possible. Try going to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Eventually, your body will adapt and create its natural alarm clock. You’ll see that you’ll wake up without an alarm at the same time every day if you practice this.
Next, stay away from your phone, TV, and any other screen for at least two hours before going to bed. Blue light is not the best when it comes to a good night’s sleep, so switch it with red in your bedroom.
If you have a habit of drinking coffee or any other caffeinated drinks before bed, they can keep you awake and make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Cigarettes and tobacco will also make it difficult for you to get quality sleep.
Be active during the day. Another way to get a night of better sleep is to be physically active during the day. You can practice any sport or physical activity that you can think of. That’s how you’ll use your energy, and at the end of the day, your body will want to get the sleep that it deserves.
Find a quality mattress, pillow, and bedding. Maybe the mattress and pillow that you own are not comfortable enough or aren’t meant for the sleeping position that you love. This can lead to sleepless nights, and you’ll experience back, neck, and shoulder pains. You should do your own research, find the products that are right for you and invest in them.
Practicing yoga and meditation is very useful in creating healthy sleeping habits. You don’t even have to leave your house. You can do about 10 to 15 minutes of yoga and meditation per day.
If none of these tips work, make sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor. There are certain medications that can help and deliver a good night’s sleep. However, it’s best if you consult a professional first.
Sleep is one of the most essential functions for a healthy body and mind. Lack of sleep can be dangerous to your health. Aside from getting the recommended hours at night for your age group, you can also follow the tips above on how to get better sleep. They will change your life.