The concept of sleep is one that offers quite a bit of significance to us as human beings. Considering we spend roughly one third of our lives asleep, it makes sense why sleep, and getting enough of it, is so important to our overall mental and physical wellbeing.
While we are aware that sleep is something we should greatly value, a lot of us remain unsure as to just how much sleep we require, or what the perfect sleep duration looks like. Sleepfoundation.org explains that “healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. Babies, young children, and teens need even more sleep to enable their growth and development. People over 65 should also get 7 to 8 hours per night,” cited from National Sleep Foundation guidelines1.
Sleepfoundation.org goes on to acknowledge that while the above information is a concrete guideline to abide by when determining how much sleep we require, there are certain things we need to ask ourselves when figuring out how many hours we need to snooze:
- “Are you productive, healthy, and happy on seven hours of sleep? Or have you noticed that you require more hours of sleep to get into high gear?
- “Do you have coexisting health issues? Are you at higher risk for any disease?
- “Do you have a high level of daily energy expenditure? Do you frequently play sports or work in a labor-intensive job?
- “Do your daily activities require alertness to do them safely? Do you drive every day and/or operate heavy machinery? Do you ever feel sleepy when doing these activities?
- “Are you experiencing or do you have a history of sleeping problems?
- “Do you depend on caffeine to get you through the day?
- “When you have an open schedule, do you sleep more than you do on a typical workday?”
These questions act as a sort of complimentary guideline to how much sleep is suggested by experts based on our age. Perhaps you need a little more or a little less sleep, and hopefully this information can assist in calculating the right amount of sleep for us.