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How many hours of sleep do you really need for good health?

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Kamal Saini
Kamal S. has been Journalist and Writer for Business, Hardware and Gadgets at Revyuh.com since 2018. He deals with B2b, Funding, Blockchain, Law, IT security, privacy, surveillance, digital self-defense and network policy. As part of his studies of political science, sociology and law, he researched the impact of technology on human coexistence. Email: kamal (at) revyuh (dot) com

Most people believe that eight hours of sleep a day is enough to maintain good body health. Is it really so? Today we tell you how many hours you should really sleep each night.

Several scientific research has proven that quality sleep is essential for good health at any age. This is because, while we sleep, our body is restored and practically all the systems of the body are strengthened. But how many hours of sleep do we really need to feel these benefits?

The amount of sleep a person needs changes throughout their lives as they age. 

These are the daily recommendations for each pre-adult age group, according to the National Sleep Foundation of the United States:

  • newborns (up to 3 months), between 14 and 17 hours of sleep a day;
  • infants (4 to 12 months), between 12 and 15 hours of sleep a day;
  • young children (1 to 2 years old), between 11 and 14 hours of sleep a day;
  • preschool children (3 to 5 years old), between 10 and 13 hours of sleep a day;
  • school-age children (6 to 13 years old), between 9 and 11 hours of sleep a day;
  • adolescents (13 to 18 years old), between 8 and 10 hours of sleep a day.

But… what about adults?

Sleep recommendations for adults may vary slightly.

The US National Sleep Foundation, for example, advises people between 18 to 64 to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. For those over 65, seven to eight hours of sleep are sufficient.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a similar recommendation and suggests that adults sleep at least seven hours a day.

For its part, the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK advised sleeping between six and nine hours of sleep each night.

How do I know how many hours of sleep I need?

The recommendations offered by specialized entities are based on data obtained in various studies carried out with healthy adults. 

However, sleeping an hour more or an hour less than recommended may be acceptable, depending on the specific circumstances of each person’s life.

To truly understand your individual sleep needs, you need to consider your general health, your daily activities, and the quality of your sleep.

If you are productive, healthy and happy with six hours of sleep, then this is enough for you. If, on the contrary, you sleep eight hours, but often feel tired, without concentration and discontent, you may need to sleep a little more each night.

Some diseases and other health problems can also cause the body to need more sleep to keep it working properly. You should also get more sleep if you have a high level of daily energy expenditure by playing sports frequently or working in a labour-intensive job.

Quality of sleep is important

Getting enough sleep is important, but to keep your body healthy you need good quality sleep.

Some of the signs that you should try to improve the quality of your sleep include “feeling sleepy or tired even after getting enough sleep, waking up repeatedly during the night, and having symptoms of a sleep disorder (such as snoring or shortness of breath)”, the CDC explains.

To sleep better, it is recommended to maintain a routine: go to bed and wake up at the same time, even on off days.

The room you sleep in is also important, it should be quiet, dark and have a comfortable temperature.

Also, it is not recommended to ingest caffeinealcohol or large amounts of food before sleeping.

If even with these tips, you still feel very sleepy during the day, this could indicate the existence of a dysomnia – sleep disorder – so it is recommended to seek the help of a specialized professional for its treatment.

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