8 hours of sleep — it’s one of those facts that has been around since ages. Pretty much unexamined for years. Until now.
It may be convenient for adults, but not really feasible enough for infants, children, teens and older adults.
Too many of us are devoid of the right amount of sleep due to long job hours, late night binging or partying and stress-induced insomnia — a phenomenon dubbed as ‘sleep crisis’.
Now, how would you know the optimum sleep time, that’s perfect for you?
According to Ana Noia, a senior clinical physiologist in neurophysiology and sleep, at Bupa Cromwell Hospital, the quantity of sleep needed depends on various factors, one of which is our age.
According to Noia:
- Newborns require 16-18 hours per day.
- Two-year-olds generally demand on average 11-13 hours.
- By the age of five, children sleep for about 10-12 hours.
- For teenagers, sleep may not really be as important as good music and selfies, but they require 8-10 hours.
- After the age of 20, it’s okay to sleep for 7-9 hours.
- Once you’re above 65, you need just about 6-7 hours.
Now, kids and babies require these huge amounts of sleep mainly because of abundant levels of the hormone melatonin that helps us sleep. The levels of this hormone decrease around mid-teen years and essentially become non-existent in our bodies by the age of 70, translating in lesser need for sleep, by then.
Also, the phrase ‘sleeping like a baby’ is clearly illustrated by the fact that at times, they are awake only for about 6 hours a day. This happens so because sleep is vital for babies to acquire and consolidate memories, learning, brain development, and physical growth.
For adults, lack of decent sleep may result in weight gain, decrease concentration and productivity, reduce athletic performance, and greatly increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Bottom line: Good sleep is one of the pillars of great health.
Whether for teens or adults, sleep is of utmost importance for good health and holistic wellbeing. It’s truly said that sleep is the best meditation one can have.
Make sure you have all the essentials for your perfect sleep, most importantly your mattress.