The lack of sleep has many side effects that affect your day to day life and your future health, from fatigue and loss of concentration to the possibility of not feeling like a person without having your caffeine fix. In general, sleeping in a little longer sometimes, of course, can be good for you, it allows you to catch up on some shut-eye and allows your body to relax. We spend up to one-third of our lives asleep. It’s important to remember that sleep is just as important as eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise. The desire to spend more than 8–9 hours sleeping is rather tempting but it’s important to remember that sleeping more can, in fact, increase tiredness.
How much sleep do you need to be productive and healthy?
The average amount of sleep varies over your lifetime, for two years, researchers have carefully studied scientific publications and reports related to sleep and its effects on the body and well-being. As a result, updated recommendations appeared. The amount of sleep you require depends on a person’s age, as a rough guide:
- o New-borns (0-3 months) – 14-17 hours
- o Infants (4-11 months) – 11-15 hours
- o Kids (1-2 years old) – 11-14 hours
- o Pre-schoolers (3-5 years old) – 10-13 hours
- o Children (6-13 years old) – 9-11 hours
- o Teenagers (14-17 years old) – 8-10 hours
- o Young Adults (18-25 years old) – 7-9 hours
- o Adults (26-64 years) – 7-9 hours
- o Elderly (65+ years) – 8-10 hours
The variation in numbers is associated with the individual characteristics of each person. And this is understandable because the amount of sleep we need depends not only on age but also on lifestyle, level of activity, as well as general health. However, the boundaries of healthy sleeping are still quite categorical.
Importance of REM sleep and deep sleep
Each phase of the sleep sequence offers different benefits. Nevertheless, deep sleep is when your body repairs and builds up energy for the day.
REM sleep is a type of sleep that occurs at certain points of the night caused by rapid eye movements, dreaming and bodily movements.
Both types of sleep are important and benefit our bodies in different ways. You can ensure a more deep sleep when you haven’t consumed alcohol, nicotine or been woken by noise or light.
What will happen if I don’t get the amount of sleep I need? By not getting enough sleep this will mean that you get sleep debt this is really only fixable if you “pay” back the sleep that you have missed or not had.
If we sleep less than our body requires to feel revitalised and don’t catch up on the lost sleep, you might experience:
- o Sleepiness in the daytime
- o Fatigue
- o Find it hard to concentrate
- o Other health complications such as weight gain or weight loss
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