The National Sleep Foundation has recently released the recommended sleeping times of people according to their age. Proper rest overnight is important for our overall health – if you want mental clarity, good health and proper energy levels during the day, you should aim to sleep 7-8 hours every night. However, most people don’t sleep that much nowadays thanks to their hectic schedule, which is quickly turning into a bigger problem.
Not sleeping well doesn’t just mean that you’re going to be tired – insomnia can leave you mentally tired as well. According to experts, sleeping problems are related to several health problems. Sleeping less than 5 hours overnight can affect your heart health, while sleeping less than 7 hours increases the risk of weight gain, obesity and diabetes. In order to prevent these problems, you need to take sufficient rest overnight.
Recommended sleeping hours: new guidelines
In 2004, a professor named Charles Czeisler form the Harvard University conducted a study with other scientists in order to find the recommended sleeping hours. The study was conducted for 10 years (2004-2014) and tried to find how much rest is good enough for proper health. Here are the results:
- Newborn babies (0-3 months) should sleep 14-17 hours overnight;
- Babies (4-11 months) should sleep 12-15 hours;
- Children (1-2 years) should rest for 11-14 hours;
- Preschool children (3-5 years) should sleep for 10-13 hours;
- School age children (6-13 years) should sleep 9-11 hours;
- Teens (14-17) should get 8-10 hours of rest overnight;
- Youth (18-25) need 7-9 hours;
- Adults (24-26) need 7-9 hours;
- Seniors (over 65) should get 7-9 hours of sleep overnight.
Of course, the hours are approximate and vary from person to person. However, following these guidelines has significantly reduced the risk of several health problems in the study.
The main reasons of sleeping disorders are stress and technology. You may find the latter surprising, but it shouldn’t shock you considering the amount of hours we spend on our electronic devices every day. The light they emit prevents the brain from producing the required amounts of melatonin and keeps it awake, hindering the sleeping process and making you unable to fall asleep.
Stress is the main factor for numerous sleeping disorders. When you’re under stress, your body produces too much cortisol, which keeps it in a fight or flight mode and leaves you unable to fall asleep.
So, if you want to stay energetic during the day, follow the guidelines and limit your daily use of smartphones and tablets. Lowering your stress levels can also help if you want to get proper sleep overnight.