If you’re falling short of a full night’s sleep every night, you could be putting your overall health and well-being at risk. Without enough consistent, quality sleep, it is hard to feel and perform at your best. However, despite understanding that sleep is essential, often it is the first thing people sacrifice when life gets busy, resulting in daytime sleepiness, weight gain, stress and increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
Suffering the effects of too little sleep is no way to live your life. To improve your sleep quantity, it is important to understand just how much sleep your body needs. While the exact amount may vary from person to person, adults should generally strive for 7-8 hours of sleep each night, factoring in their health, sleep needs and lifestyle.
How Sleep Needs Are Determined
According to an expert panel of scientists and researchers convened by the National Sleep Foundation, there are minimum and maximum ranges for how much people should be sleeping, based on their ages. While you should use these recommendations as a guide, always take into account how you feel after getting at least 7 hours of sleep. Are you still tired? If so, maybe you need more. If you’re depending on caffeine or find yourself yawning throughout the day, those may also be signs that you’re not sleeping enough.
Here is a breakdown of what your daily sleep-time goal should be, based on your age:
- School-age children (ages 6–13): 9-11 hours
- Teenagers (ages 14–17): 8–10 hours
- Young adults (ages 18–25): 7–9 hours
- Adults (ages 26–64): 7–9 hours
- Older adults (ages 65+): 7–8 hours
If your current sleep times don’t match the recommended range, and your short- and long-term health is being impacted, it is time to make a change. Begin by prioritizing your sleep and taking steps to improve your sleep hygiene. The REMfresh® Sleep Hygiene Cycle™ is a great place to start if you’re struggling with occasional sleeplessness.
Your sleep quantity and quality could be a major factor in how you feel every day. Make the most out of your slumber by dedicating the proper time to sleep and improving your pre-bedtime routines to help drifting off to dreamland even easier.