Sleep is an essential prerequisite for the body to function properly. It is integral in maintaining a healthy, productive, and satisfied body and mind. We can even go so far as to say that a decent lifestyle can be characterised by the amount of sleep one gets, as well as the quality of said sleep.
In contrast, poor-quality sleep increases the risk of a number of diseases and ailments including heartburn, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, respiratory problems, and many others. Too little sleep has also been associated with psychiatric disorders such as depression, substance abuse, and bipolar disorder, as well as decreased cognitive performance, as many of us can testify to. Having said this, it is a relevant and worthy exercise to outline the ideal duration of sleep. That is precisely what this article is set out to do.
So how many hours of sleep should you get each night? In theory, one should get roughly seven to nine hours of sleep every night. If you add that up, it comes out to be about a third of our lives. It should, however, be noted that the range outlined here is simply a rough estimate; sleep can be considered sufficient when one experiences no daytime drowsiness or dysfunction.
That being said, there is a valid scientific reason for the estimate. You see, the amount of sleep people need fits a bell-curve model, where most people need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. In addition to this, researchers have also found that this amount of sleep correlates with longevity and cardiac health in humans.
The seven-to-nine rule can be considered a standard for adults, but recommendations change as an individual grows older. Of course, babies require a greater number of hours while older people generally have reduced sleep needs. Elaborate recommendations are published by the National Sleep Foundation (NFS) in the United States.
Although sleeping the appropriate amount is essential for good health, many of us don’t actually adhere to the recommendations and are sleepy all the time. Alarmingly, statistics in the United States show that more than a third of adults aren’t getting enough sleep. Of 440,000 surveyed Americans, 35% said that they usually don’t even sleep for seven hours each night. It seems that many people place sleep at the bottom of their priorities and are willing to neglect or outright sacrifice it whenever life gets busy.
We can all agree that sleep is important, so here are some tips to get a better night’s rest.
1. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Weekends are not exceptions and you should avoid changing your routine and sleeping in.
2. Exercise during the day.
3. Avoid electronic devices, such as phones or TVs before sleeping.
4. Avoid caffeine and other substances that may interfere with sleep before you go to bed.
5. Create a comfortable sleeping environment.
If you are suffering from a lack of sleep, it’s definitely necessary that you try out different methods so that you can sleep better and longer.