Did you know the quality of your nightly sleep can affect mental and physical health and general well-being? Sleep can impact the way your body and minds functions, your creativity, vitality, and even weight. But how much sleep do you actually need?
Make sleep a priority
As we all scramble to fit everything in modern life is busier than ever, and giving up sleep might seem like the solution to allow you to achieve more in a single day, but missing out on sleep will take its toll.
Even minimal sleep loss (one or two hours a night) can substantially impact your mood, energy levels, mental acuity, and ability to handle stress. Long-term chronic sleep loss can cause havoc.
Why do we need to sleep?
When you're asleep, your body rests, but your brain stays busy, overseeing the biological maintenance that keeps your body running smoothly, allowing you to recover and prepare for the next day.
Without enough sleep recovery time, your body struggles to work, learn, create, and communicate effectively. Addressing sleep problems can significantly improve your energy, efficiency, and overall health.
Sleep needs are individual – just like you
As any new parent knows, there is a considerable difference in your ability to function when only getting a few hours a night compared to a full night's sleep.
Research suggests that the average adult sleeps less than seven hours a night, which is not enough time to allow full recovery from a busy day. You might think that seven hours seems likely plenty of rest, but it's actually a recipe for chronic sleep deprivation.
How much should we be sleeping each night?
While sleep requirements vary between individuals, most healthy adults generally need seven to nine hours of quality sleep per night, and children and teens need even more.
Deep sleep and REM sleep – quality and quantity
Not all sleep is equal, and if you are having difficulty getting to sleep or are restless during the night, you may need to take steps to improve your sleep quality.
If you have trouble waking up in the morning or staying alert all day, you might not be spending enough time in the different stages of sleep.
Does any of this sound familiar?
- You need an alarm clock to wake up on time.
- You rely on the snooze button.
- You find it hard to get out of bed in the morning.
- You feel exhausted in the afternoon.
- You get sleepy in meetings or warm rooms.
- You get drowsy after heavy meals or when driving.
- You consistently need to nap to get through the day.
- You fall asleep while watching TV in the evening.
- You take weekend naps.
- Fall asleep within five minutes of going to bed.
If any of these sound familiar, you may be sleep deprived.