Sleep is a huge part of our overall health at every age and stage of life. Getting an adequate amount of sleep per night is essential and helps the brain and body operate at its best. The question is…how much sleep is the “right” amount of sleep for you?
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that healthy adults get 7-9 hours of sleep per night, while older adults 65 and over should get 7-8 hours. Babies, young children and teens need a little more sleep as their bodies are continuing to grow and develop. They need anywhere from 8-17 hours of adequate sleep per night.
Below is a chart that was created by a group of scientists and medical professionals after extensive research on sleep duration and key health outcomes such as cardiovascular disease, depression, pain, and diabetes.
These guidelines are just that…guidelines, to serve as a general range of recommended sleep. Of course, the amount of sleep an individual needs varies person to person and depends on a number of factors including health and lifestyle.
The following are questions the National Sleep Foundation have compiled to help individuals determine the amount of sleep they require:
- How do you function on 7 hours of sleep? Are you happy, productive and healthy, or do you feel like you need more sleep in order to function as your best?
- Do you have existing health issues or are you at higher risk for any diseases that may require more sleep?
- Do you typically have high energy levels during the day?
- Is your job labor-intensive? Do you frequently workout or play sports that would require more sleep for your body to recover?
- Do you operate heavy machinery or drive everyday where you are required to be alert? If so, do you ever feel sleepy when doing these activities? If yes, then you may require more sleep at night.
- Do you have a history of sleeping problems, such as insomnia or sleep apnea?
- Are you dependent on caffeine in order to function well throughout the day? If so, you may require more sleep than you are currently getting.
- When your schedule allows, do you find yourself sleeping more than on a regular workday? If so, you may need more sleep.
These questions, along with the recommendations on the sleep chart will help you determine the right amount of sleep YOU need in order for your brain and body to function efficiently! Make getting adequate sleep a priority!