Sleep is one of the major indicators of the overall wellbeing and health of an individual. Throughout our lives, the appropriate amount of our sleep is a question that often remains unanswered by many.
What makes answering this question difficult for some is the fact that factors such as alarm clocks, coffee, energy drinks, and external light, particularly from electronics, disrupts our natural sleeping and waking up cycle.
So, what determines our required sleep?
The hours of sleep that one needs is different for various age groups and are heavily influenced by health and lifestyle. To find out the amount of sleep you need, it is vital to determine the circumstances that influence the quantity of sleep.
Such factors can include things like stress and work schedules. Similarly, you need to figure out your place on the spectrum of overall sleep needs for humans.
Of course, scientific research can’t accurately point out the exact number of hours that people of different ages require. However, research can direct you towards the maximum and minimum range of sleep for good health along with the recommended hours of sleep per age and helpful tips from experts that can improve the quality of sleep.
Regardless, you need to understand that it is vital that you pay close attention to your needs. The best method that you can use to ensure that you meet your sleep needs is to notice your mood and the amount of energy throughout your day. If you get sufficient amount of sleep, you will feel focused and energetic throughout the day; from the morning till your bedtime.
Ask yourself a few questions
To find the optimum hours of sleep that work the best for you, you must ask these following questions.
- Think about whether you are healthy, productive, and in a good mood when you sleep for seven hours? Or do you need at least nine hours of sleep before you can even start to function?
- Think whether you have health problems. For example, are you overweight? Is feeling chronically depressed making you feel tired?
- While driving, whether to or from work, do you feel drowsy?
- Do you feel like you cannot make it through your entire day without taking any caffeine?
- Do you often experience sleep problems?
Finding the answer to such questions can help you determine the amount of sleep you require.
Optimum hours for various ages
Remember that there is a major difference between the amount of sleep you require to function optimally and the hours of sleep that will help you go through the day. According to research, an average adult, in today’s fast-paced world tends to sleep for less than seven hours daily. Of course, according to how fast the world is progressing, seven hours of sleep sounds good; however, it is only an underlying factor for chronic sleep deprivation.
Also, take note that because you can sufficiently operate after sleeping for seven hours, this doesn’t mean that sleeping for two more hours wouldn’t make you feel well rested compared to before.
For newborns from birth to 3 months, the optimum amount of hours of sleep required ranges from 14 hours to 17 hours. Infants, from 4 months to 11 months need at least 12 hours of sleep and a maximum of 15 hours.
The optimum range of sleep for toddlers from one to two year olds is 11 hours to 14 hours. Preschoolers, aged 3 to 5 years need 10 hours of sleep to a maximum of 13 hours. School going children ranging from 6 to 13 years need at least 9 hours of sleep each night.
Teenagers that are aged from 14 to 17 years need to sleep for a maximum of 10 hours and a minimum of 8 hours. Younger adults, on the other hand, aged 18 to 25 years old, need only a maximum of 9 hours of sleep. The same also goes for the adult age group which includes 24 to 64 years old. People older than that only need a maximum of 8 hours of sleep.
How to improve your sleep?
Now that you have determined the number of hours you require the next thing you need to know are steps you can take to improve your sleep. Just like exercise and a balanced diet, having an excellent sleep cycle has a significant impact on your overall health.
In order to make your way towards improved sleeping, you need to pay close attention to your body’s needs. Mentioned here are a few effective yet simple tips that you should follow to experience an improved quality of sleep.
- Create a sleep schedule and follow that plan religiously even on holidays and weekends.
- Pick out a bedtime ritual that you find relaxing, and practice it before going to bed. It might be taking a bath or even reading a book.
- Exercise on a daily basis. Tiring your body out can help you sleep early.
- Try not to excessively use your phone, laptop, etc. in bed.
- Make sure that the temperature of the room is what you prefer.
- Make sure your bed is comfortable.
Sleep in important. So, make sure you get the appropriate amount for a better life.