How Much Sleep Does a Person Need?
How much sleep does a person need? Well I hav been listening to the Evolution of Medicine Online Summit today. Lack of quality sleep can cause stress! And that is not good. Here’s why! Sleep was talked about and I thought I would take a look at how important sleep is and answer the question how much sleep does a person need?
The amount of sleep that a person requires varies as they age. Newborn babies, for example, require anywhere from 12 to 18 hours of sleep per day. While an adult can manage on only 7 hours. There are several factors that affect the number of hours you need on a regular basis, this article will discuss some of these.
The biggest thing to understand is that there is no magic number when it comes to sleep. Sleep patterns are as individual as your personality. The quality of your sleep is often more important than the actual number of hours. OK read that again! The quality of your sleep is often more important than teh actual numbers of hours.
There are two basic principles that pertain to sleep:
- Basal Sleep
- Sleep Debt
Basal sleep is the amount of sleep required by your body to keep your body functioning at an optimal point. Sleep Debt is the number of hours you lose due to either poor sleeping habits, sickness, or other problems that keep you awake.
Studies show that most adults need between 7 to 8 hours of basal sleep per night. Sleep Debt is connected to those times when you are feeling sleepy and tired, even if you just slept for 7 hours.
What this research suggests is that your body needs to catch up to your sleep debt numbers. Depending on how sleep deprived you are, this may take several nights of sleeping for 7 hours or more to catch up on.
Your mood and energy levels are a good indication of sleep deprivation. People who do not sleep enough are at more risk of being involved in a car accident, are at risk for heart disease and diabetes. Plus many people find that they gain weight when they do not sleep enough for long periods of time.
So much much sleep does a person need? Consider this:
The best way to determine just how much sleep you require is to pay attention to your body. Note things such as what kind of mood you are in, are you feeling more hungry than usual and how much energy you have.
Pay attention to how many nights per week that you do get enough sleep. If this number is low then you may want to look at your sleep habits and make some changes.
Quite often having a warm bath or shower before going to bed can make a huge difference. As can not drinking coffee or alcohol too close to bedtime. In fact it is best not to drink coffee after 2pm at the latest if you find coffee is causing you issues with your sleep!
One of the best ways to realize the quality of your sleep is to keep a sleep journal! Each morning make a note on last nights sleep quality. After noting your sleep habits for a few weeks you should be able to determine just how much sleep your body actually requires.
Tips for quality sleep:
- Sleep in a completely dark room
- Get to sleep before 10:30pm
- Vigorus exercise at least 3-4 hours before sleep time
- Eliminate coffee, alcohol in evening if you find it is causing issues with your sleep quality
- Eliminate sugar (desserts) in the evening if they are causing sleep quality issues
- Take a technology break at least 1 hour before bedtime
- Dim the lights at least 1 hour before bedtime
How much sleep does a person need? It depends and would be great for you to share your quality sleep success below!
Let today be your day! Talk soon,
PS – Be sure to Register NOW for The Evolution of Medicine Online Summit in progress from Sept 8 – 15th 2014! The first day had some awesome speakers and you can still listen at: LINK Everyone is invited to play their part in changing health care, patients, doctors, health practitioners, and coaches! You may have missed the Evolution of Medicine Summit however it is available HERE Our world class group of experts bring rich experience and thought leadership from diverse areas from within health care. They are made of doctors, researchers, authors, innovators, practitioners, coaches and activists.