How Much Sleep Do You Need?
Considering that we spend one third of our lives asleep, to monitor your sleep and knowing how much we need is important
However, it often comes with an over-generalisation.
For example, in March 2015, the National Sleep Foundation came up with some guidelines on how much sleep that people, of different ages, should be getting.
The recommendations were for healthy people with normal sleep patterns. The appropriate duration for a newborn, for example, is 14 – 17 hours. Whereas, teenagers are fine with 8 – 10 hours. Young adults and middle-age adults should be aiming for 7 – 9 hours per night. Older adults should try to get 7 – 8 hour, So although the duration varies by age, there is a similarity amongst age groups. It is important to monitor your sleep.
The Magic Number:
The truth is that sleep is complex and multi factorial. The “magic” number that you have probably heard the most is “eight hours.” Although the National Sleep Foundation came out with these guidelines, some people who work in the field still advocate a more common-sense approach to determining how much sleep you need.
If you asked a stranger how much sleep you require, it would be easy for him to tell you “eight hours.” However, the fact is that this stranger knows nothing about you about your lifestyle, your job, your stresses. It would be like you guessing how many calories the stranger across the street should be consuming every day. BUT- without you knowing if she exercises, if she is muscle building, or if she is pregnant.
Monitor your sleep
With that in mind, it makes more sense to monitor how you feel, and determine what duration is best for you. You can monitor things like:
How long it takes you to fall asleep – If you drop off as soon as your head hits the pillow, then you may need more sleep. If it takes you a long time to fall asleep, then perhaps you are sleeping too much.
Does your body wake up before your alarm? – Your body knows when it is time to wake up. Your internal clock is much wiser than any alarm clock, that you buy, will ever be. Sleep patterns play a big part in all this. How do you feel during the day? – If you are struggling to keep your eyes open, then you may need more . If you are able to stay awake and alert, then the amount you got is probably fine.
By monitoring these things, it can help you to better sleep. Allowing you to adjust your schedule accordingly, so that you get the amount you need.