For many, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything which we need to get done and often the solution seems to be to stay up late and carry on and on, getting only a few hours sleep each night. In reality, however, this generally isn’t the best thing to do and can impact on your performance and ability to function at your best the next day. We’re told that we need eight hours sleep a night as an adult, however, with many wondering whether that is the case or not and how much sleep we really need each night, we wanted to take a look at this in a little more depth.
We need sleep, alongside food, water and oxygen to survive and, over our lifetimes, we spend, on average a third of our time asleep and, whilst many know deep down the importance of getting a great night’s sleep, too few recognise the importance of getting enough time under the bed covers each night. Add to this the fact that we, as a nation, spend far too much time drinking caffeinated drinks, staring at screens and carrying out other activities which are known to impact upon our ability to get a decent sleep, it’s safe to say that many simply don’t understand how much sleep they actually need.
The amount of sleep which we need each night changes as we get older, however unfortunately it’s not quite as simple as saying a person of a particular age needs X hours sleep each night. Our lifestyle and other environmental factors can affect the number of hours of sleep which we need, however to, give a strong indication, we wanted to share the below visual put together by The National Sleep Foundation.
The above, whilst only a recommended guide for those of different ages, showcases the ranges which are suggested, as well as what would be outlined as the ‘average’ guideline amount. Of course, it’s important that you understand yourself how much sleep you as an individual need and are able to read the signs your body gives you when it needs a few more hours.
Ask yourself questions such as:
- Do you feel wide awake and ready to get up and go in the morning on seven hours of sleep or do you need nine to feel that way?
- Do you suffer from any health conditions which could mean you need that extra hour or two in bed each night?
- Do you manage to sleep straight through or do you suffer from broken sleep?
- Do you need to drink caffeinated drinks throughout the day to keep you going?
- Do you feel as though you need a mid-afternoon nap each day?
Answering any of these could lead you to determine yourself that you need more sleep than you’re currently getting and should be an active encouragement for you to work your routine around this level of sleep.
Trust us when we say that you’ll feel far better after a great night’s sleep and, at the end of the day, only YOU truly know how much sleep you need! Of course, in addition to getting the right amount of sleep, it’s important that you get a decent quality of sleep and if you find yourself unable to get comfortable, perhaps consider whether your pillows, duvet or mattress could do with replacing in order to help it become easier to sleep right through!