There are times when it seems like getting by on less sleep is the only answer to your busy schedule. If you don’t get enough rest every night, then there is a substantial penalty that must be paid by your energy levels, mental sharpness, and ability to handle stressful situations.
Understanding how much sleep you need each night makes it possible to improve the quality of your life went awake. The amount of sleep you receive directly impacts your physical and mental health.
There is a large gap between the amount of sleep you require to function optimally and what can get you through the average day.
How Much Sleep Should I Get?
According to information published by the National Institutes of Health, the average adult requires 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. There is a one-hour window on each side of that number where some people can still get enough rest.
Older adults are the exception to the rule. Once you reach the age of 65, then getting 7-8 hours of sleep can be enough. Some people in this category can function successfully on just five hours of sleep each night.
Children require more sleep than the average adult. Younger kids typically need more sleep than older ones, especially in the first year.
- Up to 19 hours of sleep per day may be appropriate for some newborns, going up to 3 months in age.
- Between 4-11 months, up to 18 hours per day may still be necessary for some kids.
- Once a child reaches their first birthday, they might only sleep for 9 hours each night.
Help! My Kids Don’t Want to Go to Sleep at Night!
The struggle that parents face when their children start growing up is that their sleep cycle might require more rest than what their kids need. By the age of 6, some children may require just seven hours of sleep every night.
Your body might require more rest, so up to 10 hours of sleep could be necessary to meet your health needs.
That three-hour gap between the two requirements can be a source of strain in some families. The kids either get up early or go to bed late and feel rested while the parent begins to experience symptoms of chronic sleep loss.
The best way to know if you’re getting enough sleep (or if your kids are sleeping enough) is to evaluate how you feel throughout the day.
When you’re logging enough sleep hours each night, then you will feel alert and energetic throughout the day. You will wake up feeling ready to tackle any task, then stay that way until it is time to go to bed.
Kids will experience these feelings too.
If that aspect of life is missing, then that is evidence that you’re not getting enough rest at night. Try to get an extra hour of sleep to see how you feel.
When sleep problems continue despite making lifestyle changes, then it is time to go see a doctor or sleep specialist. Everyone is a little different, but if you follow these guidelines, it is possible to obtain a snapshot of your health.