How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

How much sleep do you need? is one of the most often requested health-related queries. Some night owls convince themselves that they function best with little sleep or deny the fact that they are sleep deprived. Others sleep longer than is advised and still feel exhausted. So how much sleep should an adult get on average?

In order to determine how much sleeps you actually require, we spoke with sleep specialist Jacqueline Geer, M.D., M.H.S., an instructor of medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine in the division of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. Additionally, how to prioritize sleep and obtain the rest you require.

How many hours of sleep should a typical adult get?

The amount of recommended sleeps varies by age and is always given as a range because everyone has varied needs, according to Dr. Geer. For instance, teenagers won’t need the same amount of sleep as adults or older people do. According to Nemours Children’s Health, this transition is probably caused by the brain hormone melatonin, which is released later in the evening in teens than in children and adults. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep each night, but those over 65 tend to need a little less sleep—usually 7-8 hours.

Therefore, even though each person’s needs are unique, doctors recommend that an average adult need 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.

How can aging affect how much sleep you need?

The CDC states that as you get older, your needs for sleep vary. The suggestions are listed below, separated by age group.

  • .Newborn (0-3 months): 14-17 hours
  • Infant (4-12 months): 12-16 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
  • Toddler (1-2 years): 11-14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
  • Preschool (3-5 years): 10-13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
  • School age (6-12 years): 9-12 hours per 24 hours
  • Teen (13-18 years): 8-10 hours per 24 hours
  • Adult (18-60 years): 7 or more hours per night
  • Adult (61-64 years): 7-9 hours
  • Adult (65 years and older): 7-8 hours

According to Dr. Geer, the need for sleep significantly decreases as humans get older. Older folks frequently experience a “phase advance,” in which they tend to go to bed and wake up earlier.

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How do you determine whether you’re sleeping enough?

It can be challenging to determine whether you’re getting enough sleeps, particularly if you frequently drink coffee or energy drinks to boost your energy levels. However, if you frequently snooze outside of your typical sleeping hours, it’s likely that you don’t get enough sleep at night.

According to Dr. Geer, “I normally advise my patients to attempt to identify what period of sleep, within the suggested range, permits them to wake up feeling refreshed and able to handle their day!” She continues by pointing out that, in addition to quantity, quality of sleep is crucial and can have an impact on how you feel during the day.

How can you prioritize your sleep?

Sleep should be a top concern, but Dr. Geer acknowledges that it can be challenging in the modern environment. Since most of us are always reachable by email or text, technology has truly blurred the barriers between work and home. Additionally, studies reveal that people use their phones for extended periods of time before night, going through social media and surfing the web.

Dr. Geer advises selecting a time when you mentally get ready for bed (and turn off the devices, ideally around an hour before bed), and tries to establish daily habits before night. Decide on a time to turn off your computer, put on your pyjamas, and establish your own nighttime routine to teach your body when it’s time to sleep.

Dr. Geer often advises against trying to “catch up” on sleeps during the weekend in order to make up for a lack of sleep during the week because it’s so crucial to maintain normal bedtimes and wake-up hours as much as possible.

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