Sleep is a vital indicator of overall health and well-being. We spend up to one-third of our lives asleep, and the overall state of our "sleep health" remains an essential question throughout our lifespan.
Most of us know that getting a good night’s sleep is important, but too few of us actually make those eight or so hours between the sheets a priority. For many of us with sleep debt, we’ve forgotten what “being really, truly rested” feels like.
So, how many hours of sleep are enough for good health? Some elderly people only sleep for a few hours so they get up early, while for many young people in the office, they generally feel that a few hours of sleep are too little to make them sleepy at work sometimes. To figure it out, we need to know the factors that caused sleep time differences first.
4 factors that affect our sleep time
The amount of sleep you need depends on various factors — especially your age. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recommends hourly sleep ranges based on age. Generally, the older we get, the less sleep required. Older adults tend to sleep more lightly and for shorter time spans than do younger adults. Newborns need twice the amount of sleep than older adults. That’s probably where the term “sleep like a baby” comes from — who wouldn’t love to sleep 15 hours a day! The National Sleep Foundation (NSF), along with a multi-disciplinary expert panel, issued its new recommendations for appropriate sleep durations. The report recommends wider appropriate sleep ranges for most age groups.
Newborn (0-3 months): 14-17 hours
Infant (4-11 months): 12-15 hours
Toddler (1-2): 11-14 hours
Preschool (3-5): 10-13 hours
School-age (6-13): 9-11 hours
Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours
Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours
Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours
Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours
Sleep needs vary across ages and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health. To determine how much sleep you need, it's important to assess not only where you fall on the "sleep needs spectrum," but also to examine what lifestyle factors are affecting the quality and quantity of your sleep such as work schedules and stress. In addition to age, other factors can affect how many hours of sleep you need. For example:
- Pregnancy or not.
Changes in the body during early pregnancy can increase the need for sleep. How long is the most suitable time for pregnant women to sleep? In order to create a good environment for the fetus, pregnant women must ensure adequate sleep time. Pregnant women should sleep more than normal people, at least 8 to 9 hours per night, and at least 1 to 2 hours of sleep can be guaranteed at noon each day, but it should not be too long. Pregnant women who have work can't take a nap, and need more time to sleep at night, or pay attention to rest at work.
- Previous sleep deprivation.
If you're sleep-deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases. It is easily understood so we won't go into detail.
- Sleep quality.
If your sleep is frequently interrupted, you're not getting quality sleep. The quality of your sleep is just as important as the quantity. Some people claim to feel rested on just a few hours of sleep a night, but their performance is likely affected. Research shows that people who sleep so little over many nights don't perform as well on complex mental tasks as do people who get closer to seven hours of sleep a night.
Nevertheless, it's important to pay attention to your own individual needs by assessing how you feel on different amounts of sleep.
What if we don't get enough sleep?
Sleep is the main way to recover from fatigue. This is a physiological need. You should perform various tasks during the day and stop working at night to go to sleep to restore physical and mental strength. This is a routine that must be followed.
If you don’t get enough sleep, it will cause excessive fatigue, reduce your body’s resistance, and not be able to resist external bacterial or viral infections, which will lead to various diseases. The length of sleep varies from individual to individual, and some people feel physically tired after only 5 to 6 hours of sleep Recovery, some require more time; normal adults generally take 7-9hours. So what should we do? Here is the answer:
- Timely do exercise
This is well understood. Because if you do a lot of things during the day and consume a lot of energy, you will sleep quickly at night. On the contrary, there is nothing to do all day and often can't sleep at night. So how to prevent the lack of sleep caused by excess energy? The answer is to do some exercises. You can do some simple exercises, such as skipping rope, walking, playing badminton, etc. These exercises are very effective.
- Good environment, good sleep
Please make sure to clean your bed properly. A comfortable bed will bring you a comfortable sleep. Keeping the bedroom clean can keep you happy. It's best to keep the light weak during sleep and the darkest at night while maintaining a quiet environment.
- Relax 1 hour before bedtime
Learn to relax an hour before bedtime, it is best to read a book or listen to music in bed. Please note that the content and music of the book should be chosen to be more relaxing. If you are highly stressed or emotional before going to bed, it will increase the difficulty of falling asleep.
- Develop good eating habits
Regular eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is good for people's health, and dinner has a greater impact on sleep. Do not eat too late and too much for dinner, because it will burden the stomach and affect sleep. Drink less water before bedtime, otherwise, you will frequently go to the toilet. Eat more red dates, millet, and milk. In addition, you can add magnesium, calcium, vitamin B, etc. according to your doctor's advice.
- Adhere to a regular schedule
Good habits are a prerequisite. It is best to go to sleep at 11 o'clock in the evening. At noon, you can take a nap if you can. A regular schedule not only benefits our sleep but also improves our attention.
What is the danger of sleeping too much?
If you sleep too much, it will not only eliminate fatigue but also affect your physical and mental health. So what's the danger of sleeping too much?
- Increased stroke risk
People who sleep more than 9 hours a day have a 70% higher incidence of stroke than people who sleep 7 hours a day. The main reason is related to the increase in blood viscosity of the elderly, coupled with excessive sleep time, leading to reduced blood flow and blood accumulation, which increases the risk of vascular occlusion and is likely to cause a stroke.
- Cause diabetes
Too much or too little sleep can cause diabetes. Because too much or too little sleep can affect endocrine, can also cause nervous system disorders, and increase the incidence of type 2 diabetes. In addition, excessive sleep can lead to obesity, and overweight is one of the main causes of diabetes.
- Impaired vascular function
During work, the heart beats faster to stabilize blood circulation, which provides better blood to the brain. When people fall asleep, the heart needs to rest and the heart rate decreases. Therefore, a lot of sleep will lead to the habit of the heart being idle, so when the body is working, even the easy work will speed up the heartbeat, which will gradually lead to heart rhythm disturbance and heart failure.
- Cause digestive disorders
Excessive sleep will affect the normal diet and easily cause stomach problems. Not having too much sleep will destroy everyone's circadian clock, eating at the wrong time, and even fasting will cause gastric juice secretion disorders, which will seriously affect the functional digestive system.
Following the natural timetable
Have you tried going to bed very late at night? Did you realize you feel very tired the next day no matter how much you sleep? Sleeping late and waking up late is indeed very bad for your health. Besides not having enough time to detoxify your body, you will miss out on other important body functions too.
From 11 PM to 1 AM
Your gallbladder produces bile, which is needed for digestion and absorption to break down all the fat you’ve consumed during the day. Waking up during this time could mean that you probably have gall stones or that you need to adjust your fat intake and eat more healthy oils.
The gallbladder is also associated with emotional disappointment, poor self-esteem, bitterness, and resentment. So in order to get back to sleep, you should practice unconditional self-acceptance and forgiveness toward others. So it is a good habit to sleep before 11 PM so that your boday can detox normally.
From 1 AM to 3 AM
Most of your blood circulation concentrates on your liver, and your liver detox after you fall asleep. Your liver gets larger when filled with more blood. This is an important time when your body undergoes the detoxification process. Your liver neutralizes and breaks down body toxins accumulated throughout the day.To help it perform its functions properly, try to drink more pure water. Waking up during this time could also mean that you’re full of negative emotions like anger, frustration, guilt, and rage which have to be resolved if you want to restore your sleep to normal.
From 3 AM to 5 AM
Most the blood circulation concentrates on your lung. What should you do at this moment? Well, this is the time when you get the sweetest sleep. What if you sleep after 3 AM? Unfortunately, you won’t have any time to actually detoxify your body. If you continue with this sleeping pattern, these toxins will accumulate in your body over time. You know what happens next.
If you keep waking up during the period from 3:00 AM to 5:00 AM and have symptoms like cough, sneezing, or nasal congestion, this may indicate that you have excess mucus or a poor diet. Lungs are also connected to the emotions of sadness and grief, so waking up at this time could be a sign that you need to let go of these feelings. In this case, doing some breathing exercises may help you sleep better.
From 5 AM to 7 AM
Most blood circulation concentrates on your large intestine. What should you do at this moment? You should poop! Pass out all unwanted poop from your large intestine. Prepare your body to absorb more nutrients throughout the day.
From 7 AM to 9 AM
Most the blood circulation concentrates on your stomach, so this is the time period when your small intestine absorbs a lot of nutrients. What should you do at this moment? Have your breakfast! This is your most important meal in a day. Make sure you have all the required nutrients from your breakfast. Not having breakfast causes lots of health problems for you in the future. And then you will start to working all day.
Sleeping late and waking up late is indeed very bad for your health. Besides not having enough time to detoxify your body, you will miss out on other important body functions too.
In summary, it is important to get the scientific and reasonable sleep time every day. Sleeping more and less is not good for your health. Following your natural timetable so make it your daily routine. We sure you will feel fresher and more energetic all day long.
If you have any other questions, feel free to comment below and we would like to help you as soon as possible.
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