Adults need hours of sleep
People who can get by on four hours of sleep sometimes brag about their strength and endurance. But recent scientific studies show that a lack of sleep causes many significant changes in the body and increases your risk for serious health concerns such as obesity, disease, and even early death. Sleep is an important function for many reasons. When you sleep, your brain signals your body to release hormones and compounds that help:. In fact, consistently sleeping more than six to eight hours a night can negatively impact your health.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: The science of how much sleep you actually need
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Putting to Rest Myths About Seniors & SleepContent:
This is unfortunate because good sleep is just as vital to good health as eating healthy foods or getting enough exercise. Read on to learn why sleep is so important to your health and how much you should be getting each night. Sleep is more than just a time for your body and mind to rest.
In fact, while you're asleep, your body is hard at work. During this time, your body rebuilds muscles you've worn down during the day and cleans away harmful plaques and waste that are produced in the brain. These are vital processes that keep both your mind and body running properly 1.
Your mind also processes and responds to important emotions and experiences from the day and commits them to memory 2. Sleep is also essential to regulating your emotions. Not to mention, a lack of it makes it difficult for your body to regulate essential things like appetite control , your immune system, good metabolic function and your ability to maintain a normal body weight 3 , 4.
This inner clock runs on an approximately hour schedule and regulates when you feel awake and sleepy. It may also help regulate things like metabolism , immune function and inflammation 5 , 6. Not sleeping long enough, sleeping at odd times of the day and exposure to bright light at night may throw off this inner clock and the many processes it regulates 6.
While you may think you're getting ample rest, not all sleep is created equal. Not only is it important to get enough each night, but it's also important to get good-quality sleep. However, it may be defined as how long it takes you to fall asleep, how often you wake up during the night, how rested you feel the next day or how much time you spend in different stages of sleep 7.
Because good sleep is necessary to so many aspects of good health, you should make getting enough each night a high priority. It's estimated that nearly one-third of adults and two-thirds of high school students don't get enough sleep each night 8. Unfortunately, not getting enough good-quality sleep can cause much more harm than simply feeling tired.
If you're sleep-deprived, you're less capable of making good decisions, less creative and more likely to be involved in a car accident or die at an early age 8 , 9. This may be partially due to the fact that not getting enough sleep can harm your cognitive performance. One study found that getting only five hours per night for several nights in a row decreases mental performance to the same extent as drinking enough alcohol to have a blood alcohol content of 0.
As if that wasn't enough, poor sleep can make you feel more negative, less productive and act less ethically at work 2 , 8. Even worse, getting poor quality or not enough sleep also increases your chances of developing chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease or diabetes 10 , 11 , 12 , And because it's the time when your body clears waste and harmful plaques from the brain, it may be the reason why poor sleep seems to be associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease 8.
Every individual has unique needs and preferences, and the answer to how much sleep you need is no different. Official recommendations for sleep duration are broken down by age group 14 :. However, some people might need more or less sleep than is generally recommended, depending on the following factors. Certain genetic mutations can affect how long you need to sleep, at what time of day you prefer to sleep and how you respond to sleep deprivation For example, those with one specific genetic mutation get by fine on around six hours, whereas people without it really need about eight hours, on average And people carrying certain other genetic mutations are more negatively affected by sleep deprivation or experience deeper sleep Unfortunately, your genetic makeup is not something you can change, and there's no practical way to know if you carry one of these mutations.
Therefore, it's important to simply pay attention to how you feel to determine if you're getting the right amount of sleep. If your sleep quality is poor, you may find that you still feel tired after getting what should be considered enough.
Conversely, if you are getting good quality sleep, you may be able to manage better with a little less. Many studies have found that short sleep duration, as well as poor sleep quality, are responsible for many negative sleep-related effects 16 , 17 , 18 , Therefore, it's not only important to focus on sleeping long enough, but also on sleeping well enough. Additionally, many common sleep disorders can have negative effects on your sleep quality, such as sleep apnea.
If you regularly feel like you aren't sleeping well or are extremely tired and don't know why, it's a good idea to check in with your doctor. Here are a few tips to improve your sleep :. The amount of sleep you need varies for each person and is affected by several factors. However, for most adults, 7—9 hours per night is the ideal amount. Pay attention to how you feel during the day to determine if you're getting the right amount for you.
If you are sleeping enough, you should feel awake and energized during the day. If you find you are sluggish or often tired, you may need to sleep more. To make the most out of bedtime, create good habits, such as minimizing your caffeine and alcohol intake, following a regular sleep schedule and creating a comfortable sleeping environment.
Herbal teas are popular beverage choices when it comes time to relax and unwind. Here are the 6 best teas that help you sleep. Biphasic sleep refers to a sleep schedule where a person sleeps for two segments per day.
For example, sleeping during nighttime hours and taking a…. By blocking blue light in the evening, you can prevent the disruption in the natural sleep-wake cycle caused by artificial lighting and electronics. Dyssomnias are a category of sleeping disorders typically characterized by excessive sleepiness, having trouble getting to sleep, or having difficulty….
Adults who sleep less than seven hours per night are more likely than solid sleepers to report one of 10 chronic health conditions - including…. Laughing in your sleep, also called hypnogely, is a relatively common occurrence.
It can often be seen in babies, sending parents scrambling to note…. Shift work sleep disorder occurs in individuals who work nontraditional hours like split shift, graveyard shifts, or rotating shifts.
What influences our dreams? Learn about the possible causes of dreams and how to better remember them. Ambien helps millions achieve better sleep, but many have experienced strange and dangerous side effects. Here are some of them. If you have a sleeping disorder, these are the best places online for information, support, and advice. It Is Fundamental to Good Health.
Tips for Better Sleep. What Is Biphasic Sleep? Blue Light and Sleep: What's the Connection? Read this next.
What Causes Laughing While Asleep? Shift Work Sleep Disorder. Why Do We Dream? The Best Sleep Disorders Blogs of the Year If you have a sleeping disorder, these are the best places online for information, support, and advice.
Sleep and Growing Older
If you experience excessive daytime sleepiness , you may not be getting enough sleep. How much sleep do adults need on an average night to feel rested? Learn how sleep needs change as we become older and whether or not you are getting enough to feel rested.
Is year olds' secret to longevity sleep? Many seniors sleep like younger adults. Getting older means you sleep better, not worse, study shows. Short sleep linked to aging brain. Can too much sleep kill you?
How Much Sleep Do I Need?
If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works. Sleep is important for health. We spend around a third of our lives asleep. Sleep deprivation has been linked to a number of health conditions, including obesity. It can also lead to accidents. Sleeping fewer than 7 hours in every 24 hours is classified as short sleep duration. In the United States, there is concern that many people are not getting enough sleep. This has been linked to factors such as shift-work, multiple jobs, and spending time watching television and using the Internet.
How can I get enough sleep?
Most adults need at least seven or more hours of sleep each night. The National Sleep Foundation NSF and a panel of 18 experts combed through more than studies to identify the ideal amount of time a person needs to sleep according to their age:. Although most men and women need about 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night, their sleep patterns are generally different. Women often sleep more than men, and they experience a lighter sleep that is more easily disrupted. Many women also have undiagnosed sleep disorders.
Here's what can happen when you're sleep deprived. Sleep is essential for optimal safety, mood, performance, and health. As one of the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle the other two being diet and exercise , the amount of sleep you get can dramatically improve or hinder your quality of life in various ways.
How much sleep do you really need?
This is unfortunate because good sleep is just as vital to good health as eating healthy foods or getting enough exercise. Read on to learn why sleep is so important to your health and how much you should be getting each night. Sleep is more than just a time for your body and mind to rest. In fact, while you're asleep, your body is hard at work.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How Much Sleep Do You Actually Need?
When you think of what makes up a healthy lifestyle, diet and exercise come to mind, but did getting enough restful sleep? Some researchers consider the lack of sleep that many people get to be at epidemic levels. According to the National Institutes of Health , lack of restful sleep causes a long list of issues:. They're listed as ranges because gender has an influence, as well as lifestyle and health. Newborns don't have an established c ircadian rhythm ; it isn't established they're months old.
Sleep Changes in Older Adults
Although the amount of sleep you get each day is important, other aspects of your sleep also contribute to your health and well-being. Good sleep quality is also essential. Signs of poor sleep quality include not feeling rested even after getting enough sleep, repeatedly waking up during the night, and experiencing symptoms of sleep disorders such as snoring or gasping for air. Improving sleep quality may be helped by better sleep habits or being diagnosed and treated for any sleep disorder you may have. Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link.
Sleep is a vital indicator of overall health and well-being. Sleep needs vary across ages and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health. The National Sleep Foundation released the results of a world-class study that took more than two years of research to complete — an update to our most-cited guidelines on how much sleep you really need at each age. The panelists participated in a rigorous scientific process that included reviewing over current scientific publications and voting on how much sleep is appropriate throughout the lifespan. The recommendations now define times as either a recommended; b may be appropriate for some individuals; or c not recommended.
How Many Hours of Sleep Do You Really Need?
The quality of your sleep directly affects your mental and physical health and the quality of your waking life, including your productivity, emotional balance, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort! But even minimal sleep loss can take a substantial toll on your mood, energy, mental sharpness, and ability to handle stress.
How Does Seven to Eight Hours of Sleep Affect Your Body?
The Claim: Healthy adults need eight hours of sleep each night, preferably uninterrupted, and children need a lot more. That kept factory owners from demanding 14 hours of work, but it had no scientific basis. But that research has problems.
It is well known that as children get older they need less sleep. Different people have different sleep needs. The advice in the table below is only a guide. You can make a good guess if a person is sleeping enough at night - observe how they act and function during the day.