Sleep is part of every living creature’s life and thus can never be separated from them. The truth is that we spend close to one-third of our lives sleeping. The topic of the best amount of sleep is quiet critical and most of us seldom understand what is Good Sleep. We all understand the importance of having enough sleep. But almost 90% of human beings never obey this rule of thumb that they should sleep for 7-8 hours. Our schedules do not allow us to do so and I am a victim of this anyway. Ideally, the best amount of sleep is relative since there are so many factors to consider before settling for the period in which your body requires to rest. To make it even worse, we use stimulants such as coffee to remain awake in the wee hours of the night.
What is the Best Amount of Sleep?
The amount of sleep one needs is dependent on several factors that vary from one person to the other. We cannot really tell the number of hours you need to be asleep since it varies depending on age, daily activities, and body health among other factors. The recommended amount of sleep varies with age variation as below.
- New Born: At this stage (0-3 months), the baby’s body needs enough rest to facilitate development. The more the hours of sleep for the new born the better. A health new born will spend 85% of their days asleep.
- Infant: At the age of between 4-22 months, the infant should be asleep for at least 12 hours. At this stage, the infant needs to familiarize with the environment surrounding. Therefore they spend lesser hours as compared to a new born. Additionally, the toddler is still developing and therefore rest is an important part of the baby’s growth. The baby should be asleep for at least 12 hours in a day.
- Toddler: A baby between 1-2 years old requires 11 hours of sleep per day. Well at this stage, the baby needs to be active and therefore sleep hours reduces. The baby should sleep for at least 11 hours.
- Preschoolers: A child between the age of 3-5 years needs 10-13 hours of sleep per day. At this stage, the baby is very active, plays a lot and the body almost fully developed. He needs time to feed his mind and therefore we recommend that he sleeps for not less than 10 hours.
- School going children: The sleep range is usually between 9-11 hours. School going kids are supposed to sleep for relative long hours to enhance refreshment and preparation for the day’s activities ahead of them. Enough sleep grants then required rest and therefore ability to concentrate in calls the following morning. It’s therefore recommended that they should sleep for between 9-11 hours.
- Teenagers: The sleep range is between 8-10 hours. At this stage, the active hours should be more than the sleep hour. Their productive hours in a day should be between 14 and 16 hours since they are more energetic and therefore little rest is needed.
- Adults: Persons over 18 years has so much to achieve during their active hours but it’s recommended that they sleep for at least 7-8 hours. This is in order to curb fatigue and other related illnesses.
Other factors to determine the amount of sleep one needs are but not limited to;
- As the pregnancy grows and the body changes during the first trimester, there is need for good sleep hours to facilitate growth
- Previous sleep deprivation.If you have earlier failed to have enough sleep, then you will need more hours of sleep to recover
- Sleep quality. In case you experience interruptions during your sleep example from a baby who cries in the night, then you will need to get longer hours of rest.
Therefore, it’s advisable to prioritize sleep when sleeping hours come and not going to sleep after having done everything. You have to stop whatever you are doing when the time to sleep comes.
How to Get Best Amount of Sleep
- Develop a relaxing bedtime routine. Sleeping moment should cause relaxation of the body. It’s therefore advisable that one avoid movies and programs that could cause stress, phone calls that could engage the mind during the night and also some activities that can disrupt your sleep during the last hour to bed time. Avoid screens, work, and stressful conversations late at night. Instead, you should work towards winding down and calming the mind through some warm shower or any other technique to prepare your sleep.
- Postpone worrying.Worry will always take your sweet sleep away from you. Therefore, just in case there is something running through your mind which is causing distress or worry, and you desire to get that peaceful sleep which is adequate, then there is need to postpone the worry to your active hours and resolve to deal with the matter then and condition yourself in such a way that you do not dwell in the matter during your bedtime moment.
- Ensure you go to bed just to sleep and nothing more. If you keep off all activities not related to sleep from your bedroom such as chatting, reading novels and meditating, then you’re your bedroom becomes your rest room and any moment you get there and sleep just falls in freely. You will encounter best moments and comfortable sleep as your body is conditioned in such a way that it detects your presence in your bed and thus you will be able to sleep for enough period.
- Get comfortable beddings: A comfortable mattress, which is not so soft and not too hard, soft pillows and bed covers which are warm enough will eventually grant you a heaven sleep thus you will be able to get enough of sleep. Invest in comfortable beddings and if all the other factors are held constant, then enough sleep is guaranteed.
- Do not take in caffeine containing drinks three hours to sleep time: Intake of caffeine containing products such as tea and coffee will lead to sleeplessness and thus making it hard to sleep. Avoid taking coffee for you to get enough amount of sleep as recommended.
Importance of Getting Best Amount of Sleep
Getting enough sleep is not only enjoyable but also very important to us. You may not believe it but it’s a reality that enough sleep is a pure natural medication to a number of illnesses. We shall discuss a few of the importance you gain by having enough amount of sleep regularly.
- Body relaxation: during sleep hours, the body muscles relaxes and the mind refreshes. Enough sleep ensures that the body gains enough rest and gets ready for a new busy day.
- Allows rejuvenation: During the sleep hours, the body gets rid of its tired tissues and producing new items. The production of new body cells causes rejuvenation.
- Helps in growth and development in new born: a new born baby needs long hours of sleep. Enough sleep helps facilitate fast growth and development among new born babies.
Symptoms of Lack of Enough Amount of Sleep
If you sleep for less than eight hours, there are high chances that you are might develop sleep in deficiency. You might be able to come into terms with this if;
- You always depend on an alarm to wake up: The truth is that we are all victims of alarms. The body is conditioned in such a way that it should sleep and wake without any external assistance. This may not always be the case since we never have enough sleep. We always strain to cut our sleep when our wake up hour comes. This is a clear indication that we are not getting enough sleep if we find ourselves in the state that we have to hear the alarm for us to wake up. Even at times even snooze the alarm for extra minutes.
- Feeling fatigued during your active hours: Ideally, if you just can’t perform your duties accordingly due to fatigue, it could be an indication your body isn’t getting enough sleep and therefore it just feels lazy and not performing even during the day.
- Feeling sleepy while in meetings: So do you find yourself absent in a meeting you attended? I mean sleep caught up with you while in the meeting, it’s an indication that your body is suffering and needs more time to rest.
It’s now clear on what is the best amount of sleep for the different classes of people depending on their age, the importance of getting the best amount of sleep and the symptoms of lack of enough sleep. Putting these measures into practice and you will help enhance very healthy lifestyle. Remember, we should compensate the postoned sleep so chose to set time for good sleep.