We've all heard at least eight hours, is that really true?
The answer actually isn't the same for each person. The amount of sleep that YOU need depends on:
According to the National Sleep Foundation, there are two important factors when it comes to the amount of time you sleep:
Basal sleep needs for different age groups are summarized in the following table:
So if you're an adult, you need about 8 hours. Some people are fine and productive on only 7 hours, some need more.
Then you need to factor in your sleep debt, basically the amount of extra time your body may need to "catch up" on lost sleep. Be sure to catch up on a regular basis.
Problems association with lack of sleep
There are several problems associated with getting too little sleep:
So you definitely don't want to go with too little sleep for too long. But there is also evidence that shows that sleeping too long also has its own health risks.
How do I know how much sleep is best for me?
To begin a new path towards healthier sleep and a healthier lifestyle, begin by assessing your own individual needs and habits. See how you respond to different amounts of sleep. Pay careful attention to your mood, energy and health after a poor night's sleep versus a good one. Ask yourself, "How often do I get a good night's sleep?" If the answer is "not often", then you may need to consider changing your sleep habits or consulting a physician or sleep specialist.
To pave the way for better sleep, experts recommend that you and your family members follow these sleep tips:
If you or a family member are experiencing symptoms such as sleepiness during the day or when you expect to be awake and alert, snoring, leg cramps or tingling, gasping or difficulty breathing during sleep, prolonged insomnia or another symptom that is preventing you from sleeping well, you should consult your primary care physician or find a sleep professional to determine the underlying cause. You may also try keeping a sleep diary to track your sleep habits over a one- or two-week period and bring the results to your physician.
The way you sleep affects just about every aspect of your life, so do whatever necessary to get the sleep you need.
(Source: National Sleep Foundation)