How Much Sleep Does A Human Being Need

How Much Sleep Does A Human Being Need

Sleep is considered as a vital indicator of our overall health. We spend 1/3 of our lifetime in sleep mode. But most of us have actually made those ‘8 hours’ of sleep as priority. We have been taught right from our childhood that we should take 8 hours of sleep daily; else we could develop several health complications so and so forth.

But this piece of information is not precise. Some people might require more than 8 hours of sleep and some might need less than that. Even the amount of sleep duration keeps changing across our lifetime. 

So it is not something like sleep deprivation or oversleeping, the thing depends on several factors. But everyone needs sleep and it’s a genetic demand. This demand is required by our body to wake up refreshed.

Sleep Range in Numbers

A study suggests sleep range of human beings from infants to right up to the elderly adults. These are only averages and individuals may need more or less than what is suggested below.

  1. Newborns (0-3 months) -  Requires 14-17 hours of sleep
  2. Infants (4-11 months) – Requires 12-15 hours of sleep
  3. Toddlers (1-2 years) -  Requires 11-14 hours of sleep
  4. Pre-schoolers (3-5 years) – Requires 10-13 hours of sleep
  5. School aged (6-13 years) -  Requires 9-11 hours of sleep
  6. Teenagers (14-17 years) – Requires 8-10 hours of sleep
  7. Adults (18-64 years) – Requires 7-9 hours of sleep
  8. Older Adults (65 Plus) – Requires 7-8 hours of sleep

Repercussions of not meeting sleep needs

If we do not get minimum required sleep then our body might not get needed refreshment for our day to day life. Secondly, not sleeping for consecutive days might require us to fulfill or pay-off that sleep debt in later days by either going early to bed or sleep in for longer durations. 

Failing to comply with the required sleep, we would experience fatigue, poor thinking or difficulty in concentration whether in office or driving and other health complications. So it’s extremely important to give our body the required sleep it needs.

How can we determine our sleep needs?

Now the most important part of the conversation, how can we ascertain our sleep needs? These following points might help.

  • Stick to a strict sleep schedule, even on weekends. If not possible, at least a day or two should be spared for focusing on sleep without disruptions.
  • Follow a relaxing bedtime regime.
  • Evaluate your bedroom for the ideal temperature and sound.
  • Staying away from sleep disruptors such as caffeine and alcohol.
  • Turn off electronics especially smartphones for better uninterrupted sleep.

There might be other reasons besides stress and busy schedule as why you are not getting enough sleep. You might be suffering from prolonged insomnia, leg cramps or some other problem that is preventing you from getting required sleep. Talk to your physician for determining the underlying cause.

Not getting enough sleep is very unhealthy, if one goes with it for years, it could lead to several physiological and psychological problems.