If you have ever woken up feeling cranky after a long night of struggling to sleep, you probably know the importance of quality sleep. Yes, sleep is needed to maintain good health and body function. However, sleep requirement varies for different ages. So, the question is, how much sleep do you need by age bracket? Without beating about the bush, this article will help you understand if you are getting the right amount of sleep based on your age so you can make improvements if needed.
The importance of sleep
Many people try different things to get quality sleep, from exercise to the use of drugs, therapy, and more. More than waking up feeling refreshed, with vitality, and great zeal, quality/adequate sleep has been linked with promoting the concentration of neurotransmitters in the brain, which enhance your ability to focus hence, it helps productivity and creativity.
Furthermore, adequate sleep has also been linked to sharpness and agility. If you are on a fitness journey, good sleep helps to regulate your weight through body hormones that influence eating behaviour and satiety levels. Strengthening the immune system is also one of the importance of sleep, so it’s a no-brainer that quality sleep has been linked with quick recovery from illness.
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Signs that you are not getting quality or enough sleep
If you have not been getting enough sleep lately, your body will let you know. One of the most common signs is feeling drowsy during your usual productive hours. Other signs include difficulty focusing, lack of motivation, dark circles around the eyes, mood disorders, irritability, etc. If your body is deprived of sleep for too long, you may feel headaches from one side of your head, high blood pressure, depression, etc.
Why have you not been sleeping?
If you did not deliberately deprive yourself of sleep through more engagements at night, like studying or bringing the office home, you might want to investigate why your sleep quality has dropped. It could be stress, huge pressure to deliver at work or home, pain, overconsumption of caffeine, alcohol, etc. It could also be signs of high blood pressure, a pointer to a more serious disease condition.
How much sleep do you need by age bracket?
Extensive research conducted by the National Sleep Foundation showed a detailed guideline below on the hours of sleep people should get based on age groups.
Newborns: 14-17 hours is recommended for this age group as adequate sleep. Less than 11 hours or over 19 hours may be considered insufficient sleep and oversleeping.
Infants: From 4 to 11 months old should have 12-15 hours of quality sleep. Less than 10 hours is considered inadequate, and anything extending over 18 hours may be too much sleep.
Toddlers (1-2 years) and preschoolers (3-5 years): Thie group’s sleep is in the quality range if it’s within 10-14 hours. If their sleep is less than 8-9 hours, that’s insufficient, while over 14-16 hours is oversleeping.
School children-early teens (6-13 years): 9-12 hours for adequate sleep, while less than 7 hours is insufficient.
Teens (14-18years): 8-10 hours is quality sleep for teens, while less than 7 hours may be a sign of insufficient sleep.
Adults (26-64years): 7-9 hours is considered good sleep, less than six is not enough, while over 10 hours may be oversleeping.
Seniors (over 65 years old): 7-8 hours is recommended, but below 5 hours may be signs of poor sleep.