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How much sleep does a person need to function

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Created for Greatist by the experts at Healthline. Read more. The good news? The bad news is that short sleepers are rare. Research shows that not getting enough sleep can affect your ability to communicate, solve problems, and recall information.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Impact of Sleep on Health Video -- Brigham and Women's Hospital

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How Much Sleep Do You Actually Need?

How Much Sleep Is Enough? How Much Is Too Much?

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When you think of what makes up a healthy lifestyle, diet and exercise come to mind, but did getting enough restful sleep? Some researchers consider the lack of sleep that many people get to be at epidemic levels.

According to the National Institutes of Health , lack of restful sleep causes a long list of issues:. They're listed as ranges because gender has an influence, as well as lifestyle and health. Newborns don't have an established c ircadian rhythm ; it isn't established they're months old. Infants tend to sleep in several phases throughout the day polyphasic , sleeping from 2. By around 12 months, infants start sleeping more at night.

At this point, they start to sleep more like adults in that there are no bodily movements during REM rapid eye movement sleep, which is when people dream. Previous to 12 months, babies will move during REM sleep.

Recognizing when school-age children aren't sleeping enough can be difficult as tired kids tend to not slow down, they speed up. They'll engage in behaviors that look like ADHD.

This includes resisting going to bed at night, even though they're tired. Student grades and attendance can also reveal a sleep issue for your child. Children with ADHD can cause sleep loss in children, as well as other issues such as sleep apnea when people stop breathing for periods throughout the night. It was previously believed that sleep apnea only occurred in adults, but now the America Academy of Pediatrics recommends ask about and screen for sleep apnea in children.

According to the National Sleep Foundation , circadian rhythms shift after puberty, making teens want to go to bed after 11 pm and wake up later. With teenagers having the earliest start times, they are often getting up at 5 am to be at school by 7 am, which makes it rarer that a teen will get enough sleep.

Because teens are sleep-deprived during the week, they sleep more on the weekend, which can make the problem worse. One of the top recommendations from sleep experts is to fall asleep and wake up at the same time every day. A problem that many teens share with adults is the use of back-lit devices late at night, which can prevent sleepers from getting quality sleep.

Depression rates among college-aged young adults ages are high, and this age group is the most likely to have serious thoughts about suicide at 7. Depression is often accompanied by life changes, and this period in life is often filled with changes. Sufferers of depression often suffer from insomnia, and the relationship between sleep and depression is complex. Those who suffer from depression may have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep, and those who don't sleep enough are more likely to be depressed, created a cycle.

Anxiety is another condition that can prevent restful sleep. Anxiety rates are highest among middle-aged adults ages , and anxiety is the most common mental illness in the U. And similar to depression, lack of sleep can trigger anxiety, and anxiety can cause a lack of sleep. Many adults aged 65 and older nap during the day because they don't get enough quality sleep at night.

One of the reasons they don't sleep well is because of medical conditions such as restless legs syndrome RLS. Symptoms occur in the evening and often during sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation , seniors have trouble sleeping for several reasons.

One is the change in the phases of sleep, where many seniors spend more time in the lighter phases of sleep and less in the deeper, more restorative phases. Sleep fragmentation waking up during the night is also common, which greatly reduces the ability to wake up well rested. Women need on average 20 more minutes per night more than men, though some women need more than that.

One theory as to why is because women multitask more than men and have busier schedules, which results in their brains using more energy and therefore needing more recuperation.

If this theory is correct, then men that have complex jobs that require a lot of decision-making and lateral thinking will need more than the average male as well. Another possible reason is the monthly hormone cycle that occurs with menstruation.

According to the National Institutes of Health , women do sleep more than men. However, several things can make it difficult for women to get enough quality sleep:. Pregnant women need more sleep, especially in their first trimester, which includes more sleepiness during the day. This is due to the rise in progesterone, as well as the metabolic changes the body is going through.

They also are more likely to experience parasomnias, which are u nusual behaviors that occur just before falling asleep, during sleep, or when waking up.

Common parasomnias for expecting mothers are restless legs syndrome RLS , snoring, and insomnia. Expectant mothers in their first trimester will also have more frequent bathroom visits to urinate, due to the uterus pushing on the bladder. In the second trimester , women tend to sleep better, as many of the changes have already occurred in the first trimester. However, it's not uncommon to experience leg cramps often in the calves as well as heartburn due to the uterus pushing on the stomach.

In the third trimester , sleep gets worse again due to RLS , frequent urination, anxiety about the upcoming delivery, and lower back pain. After the baby is born, new mothers will often find it easier to sleep because they're sleep deprived. Babies are often awake every hour to few hours, so mothers can't get into the deeper, restful phases of sleep, so when they get a chance to sleep, the brain will try to make up the sleep deficit as quickly as possible.

Breastfeeding is sleep-inducing because the hormone that promotes lactation, prolactin, is a soporific, or sleep-promoting. Some people believe that they can not sleep enough for several day or more and make it up when they get around to it. For many people, on a short-term basis, that looks to be true. If you are sleep deprived during the week, you may be able to make it up during the weekend. But with long-term sleep debt, the evidence isn't good for being able to make it up.

According to the Clayton Sleep Institute , research showed that six nights of sleep deprivation resulted in negative impacts on attention, daytime sleepiness, and inflammation. After a catch-up period to make up the sleep debt, attention levels didn't catch up.

Cortisol, the prime marker for inflammation, didn't decrease either. A separate study showed that chronic sleep loss results in a loss of neurons that are responsible for alertness and cognition. Another issue with sleep debt is that when you sleep too little, then sleep a lot, your circadian rhythm is disturbed.

Many sleep experts believe that the number one thing you can do to start sleeping better is to fall asleep and wake up at the same time every day, regardless of whether it's a weekday or weekend. Have a regular sleep routine that gets you well rested, and there will be no need for a feast or famine sleep routine.

If you have a long-term sleep debt, experts recommend adding an extra hour or two of sleep per night, with no alarm clock, until you gradually start sleeping less. It's also a good idea to make sure that you're getting the highest quality rest by following a good sleep protocol, which includes:. A 15 to minute nap can be a great way to help get rid of a sleep deficit. If you sleep longer than 20 minutes, you risk going into a deeper sleep, and when you wake up you could be groggy for a while.

The length of a full sleep cycle is around 90 minutes, so if you sleep for 90 minutes, you may not wake up groggy, though it may be more difficult for you to fall asleep at night. Early risers tend to want to nap around 1 pm, and late risers an hour or two later. As long as you nap early in the afternoon, and not in the evening, it shouldn't affect your ability to sleep at night. Many countries in Central and South America have afternoon "siestas," as well as several countries in Europe.

Research has suggested that people wanting to nap around 1 or 2 in the afternoon isn't necessarily the result of a blood sugar crash from lunch. The Romans in the 1st century B. Sara Mednick, author of "Take a Nap! Change Your Life," says that our circadian rhythms are programmed for one long sleep at night, and one short one in the afternoon. The first research into naps came from Jurgen Aschoff in the early s in abandoned World War II German bunkers that had no natural light.

Subjects stayed in the bunkers and were told to sleep whenever the felt tired, and they slept for one long period of 6 to 7 hours, then 12 hours later for a second period of an hour or less. Moira Junge, psychologist and spokesperson for the the Sleep Health Foundation, believes that people would be healthier if they took naps. He says that all human beings experience a post-lunch dip whether they've eaten or not.

But what you eat can make that dip more intense. Eating a carbohydrate-based lunch will make the dip worse, eating a protein-based lunch will reduce it. The younger a person is, the more sleep they require to help facilitate the development of a growing body and brain. According to the National Sleep Foundation , when a child hasn't slept enough, they may not always slow down, but they may speed up.

Their behavior may look more like symptoms of ADHD, and they'll resist going to bed. Do you know anyone that brags about not needing more than 4 or 5 hours per sleep per night? Have you wondered how much more work you could get done if you didn't need to sleep hours per night?

Do you belong to company that looks at not sleeping as a badge of honor? It turns out that lack of sleep can make you a lot less productive, and only rare people can be well-rested on hours per night of sleep. You can be sleep deprived even though you may sleep the recommended hours per night because you're not getting quality sleep. If you have any of the following problems, you're probably not getting enough restful sleep:.

Many people attribute their inability to lose weight to a lack of disciple. They feel guilty because they can't stick to a diet and exercise schedule, which can lead to emotional eating. The reality for many people struggling to lose weight is that the lack of restful sleep impacts their brain's hormone production.

When you don't get enough sleep, your leptin levels go down, and as leptin is the hormone that helps you feel satisfied and stop eating, you feel the need to continue eating.

In addition to ghrelin and leptin levels, researchers at the University of California Berkeley have found that when people are tired, they're more likely to eat foods that are bad for them. This can become a vicious cycle where you don't sleep well, so you eat more food, and worse food, which may make you sleep worse. If you suspect that you have a sleep disorder , it's best to talk to your doctor. But most people can look at a thorough sleep hygiene program and find at least a few things that they could improve on.

Some of the most common mistakes that people make that reduce the amount of restful sleep are :. There are also a variety of mistakes people make with their posture and sleep position that can lead to a poor night's sleep, especially anything that prevents your spine from resting in a neutral position. Sleep Needs by Age and Gender.

Why is Sleep So Important?

Headlines nowadays are filled with information about sleep deprivation killing everything from your productivity to your moods, and with that, the notion of sleep being for the weak has fallen out of vogue. But how much—and how well—do you need to sleep to feel rested, recharged, and ready to tackle all of the challenges an entrepreneur faces in everyday life? Similar to the notion that you need eight glasses of water a day an idea that has been repeatedly debunked , there is the idea that you need eight uninterrupted hours of sleep per night. At least, this was the hardline gospel of the medical community. Just hold your horses.

The short answer: adults need 6 to 9 hours per night. Around 7 to 7. The long answer: it depends.

How much sleep do we really need, and what happens if we get too little or too much? We spend about a third of our lives sleeping, so you've asked an important question. The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to eight hours of sleep for people over age 64 and seven to nine hours for ages 18 to Kids need more sleep. Studies have asked large numbers of people how many hours of sleep they actually average and followed the health of these people over decades.

How Much Sleep Do You Really Need Each Night?

Gemma Paech does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. The amount of sleep adults need has once again come under the spotlight, with a recent Wall Street Journal article suggesting seven hours sleep is better than eight hours and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine drawing up guidelines surrounding sleep need. So, what should the guidelines say? Sleep need can vary substantially between individuals. Sleep is regulated by circadian and homeostatic processes, which interact to determine the timing and duration of sleep. The homeostatic process represents the accumulation of sleep pressure during wakefulness and the dissipation of sleep pressure during sleep. Both the circadian and homeostatic processes are influenced by internal factors, such as genes , and external factors, such as prior sleep history, exercise and illness.

Assess Your Sleep Needs

Sleep is a vital indicator of overall health and well-being. Sleep needs vary across ages and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health. The National Sleep Foundation released the results of a world-class study that took more than two years of research to complete — an update to our most-cited guidelines on how much sleep you really need at each age. The panelists participated in a rigorous scientific process that included reviewing over current scientific publications and voting on how much sleep is appropriate throughout the lifespan.

Most adults need at least seven or more hours of sleep each night. The National Sleep Foundation NSF and a panel of 18 experts combed through more than studies to identify the ideal amount of time a person needs to sleep according to their age:.

We spend approximately a third of our lives sleeping. Because our bodies need sleep to function during waking hours. Although sleep is one of our basic daily needs, more than 60 percent of adults say their sleep needs are not being fully met during the week.

How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

When you think of what makes up a healthy lifestyle, diet and exercise come to mind, but did getting enough restful sleep? Some researchers consider the lack of sleep that many people get to be at epidemic levels. According to the National Institutes of Health , lack of restful sleep causes a long list of issues:.

But how much sleep do we really need? Until about 15 years ago, one common theory was that if you slept at least four or five hours a night, your cognitive performance remained intact; your body simply adapted to less sleep. But that idea was based on studies in which researchers sent sleepy subjects home during the day — where they may have sneaked in naps and downed coffee. Enter David Dinges, the head of the Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory at the Hospital at University of Pennsylvania, who has the distinction of depriving more people of sleep than perhaps anyone in the world. In what was the longest sleep-restriction study of its kind, Dinges and his lead author, Hans Van Dongen, assigned dozens of subjects to three different groups for their study: some slept four hours, others six hours and others, for the lucky control group, eight hours — for two weeks in the lab.

How can I get enough sleep?

Sleep is an important part of your daily routine—you spend about one-third of your time doing it. Quality sleep — and getting enough of it at the right times -- is as essential to survival as food and water. Sleep is important to a number of brain functions, including how nerve cells neurons communicate with each other. In fact, your brain and body stay remarkably active while you sleep. Recent findings suggest that sleep plays a housekeeping role that removes toxins in your brain that build up while you are awake. Everyone needs sleep, but its biological purpose remains a mystery.

Apr 10, - Do you know your sleep needs vary by age, gender and whether or not you are pregnant? Learn how many hours of sleep you need using our guide. problems feel like much larger problems; lowered immune function.

The amount of sleep that a healthy individual needs is largely determined by two factors: genetics and age. Genetics plays a role in both the amount of sleep a person needs, as well as his or her preference for waking up early these are the so-called "larks," or morning-type individuals or staying up late these are the "owls," or evening-type people. Although our internal clock is set to approximately 24 hours, if your clock runs faster than 24 hours, you tend to be a "lark" and wake up early; if your clock runs more slowly, you tend to be an "owl" and go to bed later. The majority of healthy adults require between 7.

How much sleep do we really need?

An award-winning team of journalists, designers, and videographers who tell brand stories through Fast Company's distinctive lens. Leaders who are shaping the future of business in creative ways. New workplaces, new food sources, new medicine--even an entirely new economic system. Not getting enough sleep is detrimental to both your health and productivity.

Sleep Needs

The quality of your sleep directly affects your mental and physical health and the quality of your waking life, including your productivity, emotional balance, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort! But even minimal sleep loss can take a substantial toll on your mood, energy, mental sharpness, and ability to handle stress. And over the long-term, chronic sleep loss can wreak havoc on your mental and physical health.

By: Dave Asprey November 13, A study out of the University of California, San Diego paints a different story.

You might start to plan a coping strategy — maybe three pumps of espresso and an ice cold shower to boot. The U. Department of Health and Human Services recommends the average adult clock in seven to eight hours of sleep per night, but for some people, less is apparently more. Seriously, who runs the world? The eerie thing about people whose bodies are somehow OK with sleeping for less than six hours every night is that, despite the obvious lack of shut-eye, they really don't show any negative side effects.

How Little Sleep Can You Get Away With?

The amount of sleep you need depends on various factors — especially your age. While sleep needs vary significantly among individuals, consider these general guidelines for different age groups:. Some people claim to feel rested on just a few hours of sleep a night, but their performance is likely affected. Research shows that people who sleep so little over many nights don't perform as well on complex mental tasks as do people who get closer to seven hours of sleep a night. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission.

If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works. Sleep is important for health.

Comments: 3
  1. Misar

    The absurd situation has turned out

  2. Mezirr

    I can not participate now in discussion - there is no free time. I will be released - I will necessarily express the opinion.

  3. Fegis

    Yes, all is logical

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