Sleep is one of the most important activities that every living being has to do in order to function properly but are we getting enough sleep? An average human should spend at least 7-8 hours a day. We generally tend to ignore it due to our hectic schedule and social life. World sleep day is an annual event celebrated to spread awareness regarding sleep disorders and the importance of sleep.
How much sleep do we need?
How much sleep do we actually need? That’s the question most of us must be having in our minds. Most popular belief says that 8 hours of sleep is must but its not a hard and fast rule. Some might need more sleep some might need less.
Simple way of understanding is if you wake up feeling tired and want to take a nap then you’re probably not having enough sleep. There can be various health conditions behind less sleep such as Anaemia, Sleep apnoea etc.
|Age Group||Recommended Sleep (per day)|
|Infant (4-12 months)||12-16 hours|
|Toddle (1-2 years)||10-14 hours|
|Pre School (3-5 years)||10-13 hours|
|School Age (6-12 years)||9-12 hours|
|Teen (13-18 years)||8-10 hours|
|Adult (18-60+ years)||7 or more hours|
Why Healthy Sleep is Important?
Poor Sleep Results In Higher Body Weight
If you’re someone who is looking to reduce weight then not getting proper sleep is one of the reasons why you don’t seem to achieve your goals. Researches show that sleep is directly related to factors contributing towards obesity. Adults are 55% more likely to develop obesity if they don’t get enough sleep.
Sleep is an Immunity Booster
Immunity is a vital part of human body to make our body strong enough to fight against diseases on it’s own. Everyday we tend to get affected by cold and flu. This might be because of our lack of sleep. Prolonged lack of sleep can disrupt immune system.
Sleep Prevents Diabetes
Some studies suggests that people who sleep less than 5 hours a day have a greater chance of getting diabetes. Getting less sleep changes the way in which body produces glucose. Having less sleep can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Sleep Boosts Mental Well-Being
Mental health is another important aspect to a healthy lifestyle. One sleepless night can result in a irritable and moody next day. Prolonged deprivation of sleep can result in mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Sleep Increases Sex Drive
Research suggest that men and women who get less sleep have lower libidos and less interest in sex. It also tend to lower testosterone levels. Sleep deprivation also results in reduction of fertility in females.
Sleep Decreases Heart Diseases
Poor sleep schedule is associated with increases heart rate, increase in blood pressure and increase in substances responsible for inflammation. Results in more strain on heart and increased chances of heart diseases.
Sleep Is A Natural Skincare
A lot of us are concerned with our looks nowadays. Good looks not only increase your appeal but it also indicated how healthy you are from inside. Good sleep can result in better skin. It helps in having a glowing skin, reducing dark circles, lessening signs of aging etc.
Habits to Improve Sleep
Here are some ways in which we can improve our sleep health :
- Sleep at regular times.
- Be consistent in your sleep schedule. Sleep everyday at the same time and wake up at the same time in morning. Follow your sleep schedule everyday.
- Make sure your bedroom is a comfortable place to get proper sleep. There should be no disturbance such as noise or light etc.
- Avoid large meals/caffeine before bed time as these can make you feel sleepless.
- Avoid tobacco/nicotine.
- Be physically active. Being physically active during the day can help you get faster and natural sleep during night. Exhausted body will tend to go to rest by itself.
- There are lot of apps nowadays that can help you create and follow a sleep schedule and help you to see your sleep performance.
Are we getting enough sleep?
So the final question is are we actually getting enough sleep. There is no simple answer to this as sleep is an subjective thing. 7 hours might be enough for someone while someone would stay tired even after 12 hours of sleep. Getting enough sleep is necessary for everyone though. If you have and hectic schedule then make sure to cut-off some work and give your body the time it needs. Remember our body is the most precious asset to us. Everything in the world is only achievable if we have a healthy body and mind. So go ahead sleep until you don’t feel relaxed.