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It's Tired and I'm Getting Late...How Much Sleep Do I Need?

11-02-2015

Is the time change having an effect on your sleep? According to the National Institutes of Health, the amount of sleep you need changes as you age, but there is no one “magic” number of hours needed at any age, as sleep needs vary individually. The following sleep chart indicates average needs for different life stages:

Age

Recommended Amount of Sleep

Newborns

16–18 hours a day

Preschool-aged children

11–12 hours a day

School-aged children

At least 10 hours a day

Teens

9–10 hours a day

Adults (including the elderly)

7–8 hours a day

If you regularly get less sleep than you need, that sleep loss adds up. The total sleep lost is known as sleep debt. For example, if you lose two hours of sleep a night for a week, you'll have a sleep debt of 14 hours after one week.

Naps don’t erase your sleep debt. They can provide a short-term boost in alertness and performance, but they don’t provide all of the other benefits of night-time sleep. That means, you can't really make up for lost sleep.

Trying to recoup lost sleep by sleeping more on days off might help you feel better, but that can upset your body’s sleep/wake rhythm. Sleeping when your body is ready for sleep is very important. People who sleep out of sync with their body clocks (such as shift workers) or are routinely interrupted (such as caregivers or emergency responders) may need to pay more attention to their sleep needs.

NIH recommends that if your job or daily routine limits your ability to get enough sleep or sleep at the right times, talk with your doctor. You also should talk with your doctor if you sleep more than 8 hours a night, but don't feel well rested. That, according to NIH, may indicate you have a sleep disorder or other health problem.

Link to Sleep Disorders Center for info
Categories: Deaconess