Every doctor will tell you that it is highly important to have a healthy sleep. Lack of sleep or poor sleep can lead to several problems with your overall health, including issues with your memory, emotions, learning curve as well as biological functions of the body. Numerous people across the globe suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia and find it extremely difficult to fall or stay asleep.
Apart from that, it was also determined that a lack of sleep could cause back pain. This is because the spine does not get enough rest regularly. Lack of sleep harms the overall productivity of a person. Nowadays, people tend to get less and less sleep because of their busy lives and active lifestyle. However, a lack of sleep might harm a person’s health in the long-run. Having enough sleep is as important as eating healthy foods and getting enough exercise.
Healthy sleep is fundamental to good health.
A lot of people think that when they sleep, their body sleeps as well. That is not true, and the body is hard at work. When a person sleeps, the body rebuilds muscles that have been worn down during the day and cleans away harmful plaques that are produced in the brain. There are essential processes that allow your body and mind to run smoothly. When you sleep, your mind is also at work. It processes and responds to critical experiences and emotions that occurred during the day and commits them to memory.
Sleep plays a crucial role in regulating our emotions.
It is also worth mentioning that a lack of sleep makes it extremely difficult for the body to control essential things like appetite, immune system, metabolic function and the ability to keep healthy body weight. Sleep also regulates the circadian rhythm or your internal clock, in simple words. It works for 24 hours and controls when you feel sleepy and awake. Exposure to the bright light at night along with a shortage of sleep can lead to your inner clock being thrown off as well as all the processes it regulates.
Experts say that it is not only essential to getting enough sleep, it is also essential to get high-quality sleep, but there is no universal definition for sleep quality. However, some specialists define it as how long it takes a person to fall asleep, how often a person wakes up at night and how much time a person spends in different stages of sleep. Since sleep highly contributes to many aspects of good health, it should become your number one priority at night.
It was estimated that approximately one-third of adults do not get enough sleep at night. As was mentioned above, a lack of sleep does not only cause a person to feel sleepy, but it can also lead to more severe health conditions. Shortage of sleep can lead to making bad decisions, being less creative and more likely to be involved in a car accident. It typically occurs because a lack of sleep harms the cognitive performance of a person.
A recent study showed that getting only five hours of sleep for several nights can reduce mental performance to the same extent as drinking enough alcohol to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.06. A shortage of sleep can also cause a person to be less ethical at work and make a person less productive and make them feel more negative. A lack of sleep increases the chances of developing chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes and back pain. The reason for poor sleep is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease might be the duration of time when the body clears waste and harmful plaques from the brain.
Which factors influence the amount of time needed for a proper sleep?
There is no clear answer to the question regarding the amount of time needed for proper sleep. It mainly depends on our unique needs and preferences. However, the amount of sleep per night is typically determined by age, so, how much sleep do you need? Several health organizations have broken how much sleep do you need by age, and they are as follows:
- Newborns (0-3 months): 14 to 17 hours
- Infants (4-11 months): 12 to 15 hours
- Toddlers (1-2 years): 11 to 14 hours
- Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10 to 13 hours
- School children (6-13 years): 9 to 11 hours
- Teenagers (14-17 years): 8 to 10 hours
- Adults (18-64 years): 7 to 9 hours
- Older adults (65+ years): 7 to 8 hours
Although, some people might require more or less sleep than is generally advised due to several factors such as genetics and quality of sleep. Genetics is a critical determinant of the amount of sleep needed per night. It also can affect the time of the day a person prefers to sleep and the way a person responds to sleep deprivation. For instance, people with genetic mutation usually require six hours of sleep when people without it need around eight hours, on average. Experts say that people carrying specific genetic mutations are more negatively affected by a lack of sleep, and they also experience deeper sleep. Genetic mutations are not something that can be changed, and there is no practical way to determine whether you carry any of these mutations.
The amount of sleep time needed per night is also determined by sleep quality. If a person gets poor quality sleep, he/she might still feel tired after understanding what is considered enough. On the other side, if a person gets a night of good quality sleep, he/she might be able to manage with a little less. Thus, it is highly essential to focus not only on the length of sleep, but it is quality as well. Certain sleep disorders such as insomnia can negatively affect the quality of sleep. Therefore, if you encounter problems with falling or staying asleep or are not sleeping well during the night, you should consider having a consultation with a specialist.
From all those above, it can be concluded that the duration of sleep a person requires depends on many different factors, including genetics, age and the quality of sleep. Although the average recommended length of sleep for the majority of adults is 7 to 9 hours.
What are the tips for sleeping better?
As was mentioned above, quality of sleep counts as well. Thus, below you can find the list of tips that will help in having a better sleep.
- Create and maintain a regular sleeping schedule
- Develop a calming and relaxing bedtime routine
- Create a comfortable atmosphere
- Eliminate caffeine intake at least 6 hours before going to bed
- Eliminate the use of cell phone or other technical devices
- Be more active during mornings
- Practice guided meditation for sleep
Taking everything into consideration, it can be said that the length of sleep depends on many variables. Still, the average duration of sleep is around 7 to 9 hours for the majority of adults. You need to carefully pay attention to the way you feel during the day and identify whether you get enough sleep during the night. If a person sleeps enough, he/she feels hugely energized and awake during the day. If you feel tired after sleep for an extended period, you should schedule a consultation with a doctor.
To get the most out of your sleep, you should develop good sleeping habits, including a regular sleep schedule and comfortable sleeping atmosphere as well as eliminate caffeine intake at least six hours before going to bed.