How Much Sleep We Need Each Night, According to The National Sleep Foundation
Sleep is very important, but do we sleep enough? We have to make sure to get enough sleep each night because it is vital to our health and wellbeing. Keep in mind that only several hours of sleep per night is not enough for our brain and body.
Actually, during sleep the brain goes through our memories and removes the unimportant ones, so we will have free space for new information. If we don’t get enough sleep, we will have problems with our concentration, mood, creativity, memory, and decision-making.
Also, almost every organ in your body is affected by the amount of sleep you get. Keep in mind that not enough sleep can cause health problems.
How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Your Health?
1. The Central Nervous System
Not enough sleep affects your mood, concentration, memory, and so on. The sleeping disorder, insomnia, can lead to depression, paranoia, hallucinations, and impulsive behavior.
2. The Immune System
Not enough sleep can make your immune system weaker, so you will be more susceptible to diseases and chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
3. The Respiratory System
If you have a chronic lung illness, not getting enough sleep can worsen the condition. And, it can put you at a higher risk of infections such as flues and colds.
4. The Digestive System
Lack of sleep leads to increased levels of insulin and weight gain. In fact, it increases the risk of diabetes type 2 and promotes fat storage.
5. The Cardiovascular System
Not getting enough sleep can affect your blood sugar, blood pressure, and inflammation, and it increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.
6. The Endocrine System
Lack of sleep affects the production of growth hormones. That is why sleep is very important for children and teenagers.
The Recommended Sleep Times
Although there is a rule that says eight hours of sleep are enough, the time varies. Actually, it depends on age. Professor Charles Czeisler and his group of researchers have conducted research.
The research’s aim was to reveal how much sleep do people of different age need, and the National Sleep Foundation supported the results. Here is what they revealed:
- 0-3 months = 14-17 hours;
- 4-11 months = 12-15 hours;
- 1-2 years = 11-14 hours;
- 3-5 years (preschool age) = 10-13 hours;
- 6-13 years (school age) = 9-11 hours;
- 14-17 years (teens) = 8-10 hours;
- 18-25 years (youth) = 7-9 hours;
- 26-64 years (adults) = 7-9 hours;
- 65+ years (seniors) = 7-8 hours.
How to Compensate for the Lost Sleep?
The only way to compensate for the lost sleep is to get more sleep, but you will need more than just several nights. It can take a few weeks. Try adding one extra hour each night during the weekends.
Then, you should adjust your time according to your age. Avoid caffeine and energy drinks during the day. They may increase your energy and concentration, but they also affect your sleep.
So, people, make sure to get enough sleep each night if you want to be healthy and filled with energy. Keep in mind that staying up late when you have to wake up early is not a smart idea.