How many hours should we sleep a day?
Some say that the right measure is 8 hours, others say that 7 hours is enough, but really, how many hours should we sleep per day? It all depends on several factors.
The ideal sleep time varies from person to person. Recent research affirms that the popular belief that seven to eight hours a day is not necessary, at least not for everyone.
Sleep an important part of our life
There is no doubt that we all need sleep, regardless of our age, our profession or our daily activities. The crux of the matter is how long is long enough. If we add up all the hours we sleep per year, it is probably the activity that we do the most or that takes us the most time. And also, the rest of the things we do every day will depend purely and exclusively on the rest we get. If we don’t sleep well, we can’t study, work, cook, etc.
According to popular belief, we have to sleep eight hours, but this is not as beneficial as we think, especially in some cases. Nowadays this idea is becoming increasingly obsolete, as other issues are studied in detail, such as a person’s productivity levels. There is not a single scientific explanation as to why we should sleep a third of each day.
Daniel Kriple is one of the world’s foremost sleep specialists. He has found that people who sleep between six and a half and seven and a half hours a day are happier and more productive. Also, sleeping eight hours or more is worse than sleeping only five.
It is good to know that these figures may vary slightly from person to person. Not everyone needs the same thing to feel “restored”. It has a lot to do with genetics, physical build and the tasks you do on a daily basis. This doesn’t mean that someone who is on the go all day should sleep more because maybe someone who stays at the PC working for 8 hours straight needs it more. The problem begins when we sleep less than we need.
We may lose the ability to do certain tasks, it is believed. However, it seems that this is also a myth. A sleep deprived person can sometimes even work better than one who “respected” the stipulated number of hours. The difference lies in the fact that the one who slept the least will be less likely to regain her concentration and focus.
Napping and productivity
More and more companies are deciding to offer their employees the option of taking a nap after (or during) lunchtime. Studies have shown that they can improve the quality of sleep. If a person takes a nap at about three o’clock in the afternoon, that is, when his work capacity is reduced as in “free fall”, then a little rest will add an extra hour and a half to the high performance.
It is also not necessary to overdo it with the nap because otherwise it will be impossible to refocus. A perfect nap should not exceed 30 minutes. This habit will lead to be less tired, have better mood and be more efficient in any task that is developed.
How many hours of sleep should you get depending on your age?
Each age group has specific needs in terms of sleep (as well as food, exercise, health care, etc.).
The youngest children develop very quickly and need about 17 hours of sleep each day to be able to continue this process. At birth, the biological clock that allows dividing between the two cycles, day and night, has not yet developed, which is why until the first six months, they can sleep more during the day than at night. In turn, babies alternate periods of REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (deep sleep) just like adults. But the little ones are usually more in the first phase, so it’s easier for them to wake up.
This group includes children between 1 and 2 years of age. They are very active at this stage of their lives and need plenty of time to rest each day. The average recommended by pediatricians is ten to thirteen hours a day. Some parents think it’s best to let your child sleep through the night “straight through” and some parents think it’s best to let your child take short daytime naps. It is important that the cycle is adapted to every family.
Those between the ages of 3 and 12 suffer the most from nightmares. They are also the most active and learn constantly. This makes them tired and makes them sleep more. Sleep can vary between eight and eleven hours a day. As they get older, they need less time to recover from activities.
What they need to sleep is nine hours, although most of them do not meet it for different reasons. They often want to stay up late watching TV, on social media or playing video games and then get up at noon. This is only permissible during the holidays, because after that they have to keep to school schedules. In addition, when puberty is reached, a greater amount of the sleep-related hormone melatonin is produced, which makes the young person feel more tired than before. You need to respect sleep schedules.
The average is eight hours of sleep, but as said before, this is relative. Some need less sleep (six to seven hours) and others more (nine). You can “allow” yourself to sleep less one night or directly “keep on sleeping”, but the problem is that when this happens many times a week it produces a very big imbalance and does not allow you to perform different tasks.
The need for sleep does not diminish with age, but what happens is that after the age of 60, people sleep less deeply. So you are more likely to sleep only four hours a night, get up very early, etc.