How Much Sleep Do You Need?
Considering the fact that sleep is how we spend nearly a third of our time, it better be used effectively. If the average person lives to 75 years old, they spend 25 years of their life on Earth asleep. That might sound like a ton of time but getting the right amount of sleep can extend your life by decades, so it might just be worth it. Your quality of life also improves, so this is something very important to keep in mind.
Some people might view that as time wasted, but it is essential time to live a happy life during those 50 waking years. However, many people try to skimp on sleep and get the least amount of sleep possible; there are some serious health problems that can accompany lack of sleep.
How Much Sleep Do I Need?
The amount of sleep you need changes as you age. As a newborn baby, the average person needed 14 to 17 hours of sleep. This amount decreases slowly until the child reaches school age, where they should be getting 9 to 11 hours of sleep. Teenagers should shoot for 8 to 10 hours of sleep, and adults should try to get between 7 and 9 hours. While some people think this guideline decreases with age, at the point of adulthood until death we should be aiming for at least 7 hours; this does not change.
Each person has a different sleep cycle that works for them. The most important thing you need to learn is how to listen to your body. Even though these guidelines are fairly universal, everyone’s body is different. Some people thrive with 6 hours of sleep per day, while others might have different needs and need 10 hours per day. If you can get to know your body and listen to what you feel, you can adjust your sleep schedule and get more or less sleep according to your needs.
Regardless of your age, the most important thing you can do is make your sleep schedule a priority. Regardless of how much sleep you need, you need to be getting healthy sleep. For starters, try not to use smartphones or televisions within an hour of going to sleep. Avoiding this blue light will make your sleep healthier.
What If I Don’t Get Enough?
Not getting enough sleep can initially have some minor issues, but they can grow into serious problems. At first, there can be difficulty thinking when one is sleep deprived. Problem solving skills will be lowered because your brain function will be slowed down. You may also experience a lower sex drive.
More serious problems can include quick weight gain, which leads to a host of problems itself, and you can even increase your risk for certain types of cancer and diabetes. You’re also at risk for car accidents, many of which are caused by drowsy drivers. For your own safety, you can see how important it is that you get the right amount of sleep. Listen to your body and get the amount of sleep you need!