How Much Sleep Do We Really Need to Be Healthy?

Each person has different sleeping needs. Some people operate at their best after 9 hours while others seem to need just 5 hours each night. However, people who sleep the same amount of time each night, live longer on average than people who adjust their schedules, to either add or subtract hours from their nightly slumber (2007, British study).

Finding your own ideal sleep/wake cycle - and staying consistent - is key to healthy sleep, agrees Carol Ash, D.O., medical director of the Sleep for Life center in Hillsborough, N.J.

According to The American National Sleep Foundation, the younger you are, the more sleep you need, with up to 18 hours recommended for newborns:

  • Children between the ages of 5 and 10 should get between 10 and 11 hours of sleep each night,
  • Teens should get between 8.5 and 9.25,
  • Adults between 7 and 9 hours. Although some adults conditions are extremely different. Some get satisfied with 5 hour of sleep and some need 10 hours of sleep. This depends on the work and and the type of work they do. For example, those who are very active, they may need more.
  • Pregnant women need some more hours of sleep per day in the first three months of pregnancy.
  • Those who are ill, their body can use the additional rest to heal and strengthen their immune system.

Get On A Good Sleeping Schedule Or Else Problems May Come Your Way

Not getting enough sleep puts you at a greater risk of: Heart disease, diabetes, depression, frustration, concentration problems, memory problems, weakening of immune system, more sensitive to pain, lose of conscious awareness about things around you leading to lowered judgment and increased reaction time, substance abuse and even car accidents… Sleep deprivation must not be taken lightly, as it is a “disease” that silently or slowly kills.

Some Signs That You May Need More Sleep

Since we all have unique needs when it comes to sleep, a better barometer of whether or not you are getting enough sleep is how you feel. Some signs to consider include:

You are sick — If you find yourself vulnerable to viruses or always feel a little under the weather, another hour or two of sleep each night could be just what's needed to strengthen your system and increase your body's natural defenses. You are always eating - When we are tired, our body subconsciously looks for sources of energy.

You feel unfocused — When we don't get enough brain rest, our concentration and mental clarity can suffer. Your emotions are out of whack - Many people find themselves to ha mood swings and be extra sensitive, when they don't sleep well. If you find yourself always waking up tired, try out some of herbal sleep remedies. Additionally, be wary of sleeping pills, as they have been linked to an increased risk of cancer and premature death.

If you want to feel good in the mornings, ready to conquer the day and able to think clearly so that you can make good, healthy life choices, get enough sleep!

Author: Dr. Rania Chiourea | Sources: Natural Society, A Healthy Click

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