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Home / Wellness

How much sleep do you really need?

 You are either getting too much or too little sleep (Shutterstock)

How much sleep do you really need? That is the elephant in the room we hope we can tackle.

It is clear that sleep is essential for your overall health. You become more productive, have better concentration, reduces stress and improves your immune system making you fall ill less.

And here is the thing, you are either getting too much or too little sleep, and both have risks.

For that reason, you need to get enough rest your body requires.

If you find yourself tossing and turning unable to fall asleep whenever you hit the sack, do not turn to pills.

How about you first consider a sleep schedule which will signal your body when it is time to sleep? Avoid alcohol and caffeine before bedtime, destress and should you be experiencing any sleep disruptors then you may consider visiting a doctor for an evaluation.

So how much snooze time do you really need? The short answer is, everyone is different and have varied sleep needs. Read on.

  • 8 hours of sleep

This is the number that is pushed and here is the thing, each person needs a different number of hours to get enough rest.

Newborns for instance need anywhere between 14-17 hours of sleep, teenagers 8-10 hours and older adults 7-8 hours. This however, is not set on stone.

Our bodies work different and how much sleep you should be getting is determined by certain factors such as how many hours you work, your activity level and overall health.

 Each person needs a given number of hours to get enough rest (Shutterstock)
  • Listen to your body

Despite all the science and the daily eight-hour sleep recommendation, go with the flow of your body.

If you feel like you need to sleep more, extend your sleeping time by an hour or two. If your body feels well rested after six hours, wake up and start your day.

You do not have to stick to the eight hours when you need more or less sleep. Let your body guide you since it knows best what it needs.

  • How are you feeling?

Use your physical, mental and emotional health to gauge how much sleep your body needs. If you’re unwell, you will definitely need more time to rest and recuperate.

Do not interfere with how much sleep time your body needs when you have an injury, a traumatic experience or you’re battling an illness.

  • Are you falling asleep?

If you can’t help yourself from dozing off or stealing a few minutes to rest during your work hours, this is a clear sign you’re not sleeping enough.

Do not squeeze in six hours or less of sleep at night when it is obvious you have a deficit. Create some time during your day and ensure you get enough sleep your body needs.

Take advantage of weekends and days off to sleep in or better yet, go for a sleep vacation. Do not use an alarm and sleep for as long as you need uninterrupted. Use that opportunity to establish a sleep pattern and adhere to it when you get back home.

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