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Considering that we spend one-third of our lives asleep, knowing how much sleep is required is a good question. However, it often comes with an over-generalization.
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.
General Sleep Recommendations
The recommendations were for healthy people with normal sleep patterns. The appropriate duration of sleep for a newborn, for example, is 14 – 17 hours. Whereas, teenagers are fine with 8 – 10 hours. Young adults and middle-aged adults should be aiming for 7 – 9 hours per night, and older adults should try to get 7 – 8 hours of sleep. So although the duration of sleep varies by age, there is a similarity amongst age groups.
The truth is that sleep is complex and multifactorial. 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.
Life Factors Play a Role
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 trying to determine how many calories the stranger across the street should be consuming every day without you knowing if she exercises, if she is muscle building, or if she is pregnant.
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 fall asleep 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.
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 of sleep you got is probably fine.
By monitoring these things, it can help you adjust your schedule accordingly so that you get the desired amount of sleep you need.
Loving Life — The Reboot!
This article provides general information and discussion about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having.