Sleep. Without a question, we all need it. The negative effects of extended sleeplessness are well-documented and the groggy repercussions of a night (or two) without sleep are something that most of us have experienced first hand. Sure, sleep is important, but how much do we actually need to function?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, there is “no magic number” when it comes to sleep. Studies have suggested that healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep on a regular basis for optimal performance. However, sleep debt—the accumulated sleep that is lost to poor sleep habits, sickness and other causes—can cause you to feel sleep and less alert, even if you’re getting eight hours of sleep a night. In regards to whether or not sleep debt can be “paid off” overtime, the jury is still out.
Age Impacts Sleep Needs
The amount of sleep needed can also be impacted by age. Newborns, for instance, typically need twice as much sleep as their parents (though at times it might not seem that way). Although research can’t identify the exact amount of sleep each person needs, this helpful chart from the National Sleep Foundation provides a “rule-of-thumb” for how much sleep is needed.
Are you getting enough sleep? What’s hindering your ability to log seven to nine hours? Share you sleep stories on our Facebook page.