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How much hours of sleep do you really need

How much sleep do we really need, and what happens if we get too little or too much? We spend about a third of our lives sleeping, so you've asked an important question. The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to eight hours of sleep for people over age 64 and seven to nine hours for ages 18 to Kids need more sleep. Studies have asked large numbers of people how many hours of sleep they actually average and followed the health of these people over decades.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Health Decoder - Do You Really Need Eight Hours of Sleep?

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How Much Sleep Do You Actually Need? Take This Quiz!

In theory, sleep takes up about 8 out of every 24 hours, one-third of our lives. Yet we spend additional time worrying about our sleep. But how much sleep do we really need? First, let's get the bad news out of the way: there isn't going to be a one size fits all answer — sleep needs really do vary from person to person. You could be one of those incredibly rare people that can actually get by on a few hours of sleep a night almost definitely not , or you could be on the opposite end of the spectrum, what doctors refer to as a " long sleeper " who might need 11 hours a night.

But there are some things we do know about sleep, and these can help you figure out how much sleep you actually need — and how to better get a night's rest. Here are five facts that will help you figure out what your personal sleep patterns are and how they compare to the rest of the population. The amount of sleep that people need falls into a bell curve type distribution, with the vast majority of the population needing between 7 and 9 hours of rest each night to be refreshed.

Chronobiology is the science of our internal clocks. Till Roenneberg. You have a natural chronotype, or body clock, that determines when you are most comfortable sleeping and being awake. Most of us think of ourselves as morning or night people , but those divisions aren't scientific — they're just ways of comparing ourselves to one another. Welsh says that if you look at large surveys of populations, you get a normal distribution of chronotypes — most people have fairly 'average' chronotypes, some prefer to get up a bit earlier or later, and small groups naturally rise extremely early or late.

But we all do have an internal schedule that makes us feel awake or sleepier at different times of day. Because of factors including hormone levels, genetics, and light exposure, some of us are more alert in the mornings and some of us prefer times later in the day.

National Sleep Foundation. The seven to nine hour recommendation is standard for adults, but kids need much more sleep, while some older people need less.

According to Roenneberg's book, young children naturally tend to be more morning oriented. Around puberty, they're more likely to shift into a night owl chronotype, which tends to shift back to an earlier chronotype after age While your sleep needs both chronotype, when you are alert, and length, how much sleep you need are mostly genetic , there are certain things you can do to adjust your schedule and at least make it a bit easier to get up earlier. Our bodies respond to light, especially the powerful natural light of the sun.

Being exposed to that light in the morning tells our body that it's time to be alert and moving. At night, sitting in the dark stimulates the production of the hormone melatonin, which helps us relax and fall asleep we mess with this process by looking at bright light from smartphones. But we can adjust this to a degree by controlling our exposure to light. This process, called entrainment, is what our bodies have to do when we go to a different time zone — this is why we get jet lagged. But we can also use this to train our bodies to get up and go to sleep earlier by exposing ourselves to natural light in the morning and avoiding bright light at night.

This won't turn you into a morning person, but it can make prying the covers loose just a little less painful. Sometimes new research will come out, and people will claim something like "studies have found that seven hours is the optimal amount of sleep — not eight".

But as interesting as any sleep research is, we do know that people are different and have different needs. The findings of one study don't translate into recommendations for everyone. In the case of sleep, experts recommend figuring out what personally works best for you. If you can let yourself sleep naturally for a few days to a week, going to bed when you are tired and waking up whenever is natural, preferably while limiting alcohol and caffeine, you'll have a better idea of your individual needs.

If you do all that but still have trouble sleeping, it might be time to talk to a doctor. You could be one of the large percentage of the population with undiagnosed sleep apnea, especially if you snore. Or you could have some other disorder that can be addressed. It's worth taking the time to figure out what you can do to sleep better though. Not getting enough raises some serious health concerns.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

How Much Sleep Do I Need?

By Caroline Williams. Nobody seems to know where this number came from. In questionnaires, people tend to say they sleep for between 7 and 9 hours a night, which might explain why 8 hours has become a rule of thumb. But people also tend to overestimate how long they have been out for the count.

The amount of sleep you need depends on various factors — especially your age. While sleep needs vary significantly among individuals, consider these general guidelines for different age groups:. Some people claim to feel rested on just a few hours of sleep a night, but their performance is likely affected.

Well, there's unfortunately no one-size-fits-all number. It depends on your genes, how healthy you are, and how active you are during the day, among other factors. Yet, for most adults, getting between seven and nine hours a night is the sweet spot to ward off daytime sleepiness and feel healthy. As you age, however, your sleep needs do decline slightly -- after age 65, you will likely need between seven and eight hours nightly.

How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

Although the amount of sleep you get each day is important, other aspects of your sleep also contribute to your health and well-being. Good sleep quality is also essential. Signs of poor sleep quality include not feeling rested even after getting enough sleep, repeatedly waking up during the night, and experiencing symptoms of sleep disorders such as snoring or gasping for air. Improving sleep quality may be helped by better sleep habits or being diagnosed and treated for any sleep disorder you may have. Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link. Sleep and Sleep Disorders. Section Navigation. Minus Related Pages. How much sleep you need changes as you age. Sleep Health.

How Much Sleep Do Adults Really Need?

Here's what can happen when you're sleep deprived. Sleep is essential for optimal safety, mood, performance, and health. As one of the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle the other two being diet and exercise , the amount of sleep you get can dramatically improve or hinder your quality of life in various ways. The amount of sleep a person needs each day varies with age, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Some people may need more sleep and others less, and our needs may actually change through the years.

It is well known that as children get older they need less sleep. Different people have different sleep needs. The advice in the table below is only a guide. You can make a good guess if a person is sleeping enough at night - observe how they act and function during the day.

The rule that everyone needs eight hours of sleep is a myth

We all know sleep is important. Talk about pressure to perform! Fear-mongering aside, there is good evidence that sleep is important for health, well-being, and performance. But how much sleep is enough?

Most adults need at least seven or more hours of sleep each night. The National Sleep Foundation NSF and a panel of 18 experts combed through more than studies to identify the ideal amount of time a person needs to sleep according to their age:. Although most men and women need about 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night, their sleep patterns are generally different. Women often sleep more than men, and they experience a lighter sleep that is more easily disrupted. Many women also have undiagnosed sleep disorders.

How Much Sleep You Need, According to Experts

Some superhumans can survive on just a few hours of sleep , while others claim to be borderline narcoleptics. But the truth is your body needs a certain amount of sleep , and it is possible to get too much or too little. Being under- or over-rested can result in irritability , inability to focus, a lack of productivity, and bunions! Or if your child is getting enough sleep? Take this quiz then scroll down to find your results. Just five easy questions can give you a range of ideal shut-eye times, and it might be more or less than you think!

HOW MUCH. SLEEP DO It is well known that as children get older they need less sleep. By 6 months of age, babies can get 5 – 8 hours of sleep at night.

The quality of your sleep directly affects your mental and physical health and the quality of your waking life, including your productivity, emotional balance, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort! But even minimal sleep loss can take a substantial toll on your mood, energy, mental sharpness, and ability to handle stress. And over the long-term, chronic sleep loss can wreak havoc on your mental and physical health.

How much sleep do you really need?

Many of us try to live by the mantra eight hours of work, eight hours of leisure, eight hours of rest. Conventional wisdom has long told us we need eight hours of sleep per day, but some swear they need more, and some politicians, mostly say they function fine on four or five. So is the human brain wired to require eight hours, or is it different for everyone?

Sleep is a vital indicator of overall health and well-being. Sleep needs vary across ages and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health. The National Sleep Foundation released the results of a world-class study that took more than two years of research to complete — an update to our most-cited guidelines on how much sleep you really need at each age.

In theory, sleep takes up about 8 out of every 24 hours, one-third of our lives.

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