How much sleep do you really need?
The right amount of sleep largely depends on your age. The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following daily sleep allotment for different age groups.
For most adults, the National Sleep Foundation suggests at least seven hours of sleep each night is needed for proper cognitive and behavioral functions. An insufficient amount of sleep can lead to serious effects. Some studies show sleep deprivation can leave people vulnerable to attention lapses, reduced cognition, delayed reactions, and mood shifts.
It’s also been suggested that people can develop some degree of tolerance to chronic sleep deprivation. Even though their brains and bodies struggle due to lack of sleep, they may not be aware of their own shortage because less sleep feels normal to them. Lack of sleep has also been linked to a higher risk for certain diseases and medical conditions, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, poor mental health, and early death.
If you feel like you don’t get enough sleep each night, here are some small changes you can make to try to get the needed seven to nine hours:
Establish a realistic bedtime and stick to it every night, even on the weekends.
Maintain a comfortable temperature and low light levels in your bedroom.
Keep televisions, computers and tablets, cell phones, and other electronic devices out of your bedroom.
Abstain from caffeine, alcohol, and large meals a few hours before bedtime.
Refrain from using tobacco at any time of day or night.
Exercise during the day to help you wind down in the evening and prepare for sleep.