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Future Health






Do You Really Need 8 Hours of Sleep?

May 1, 2023 

Most have grown up to know the 8 hour sleep rule, which states that everyone needs eight hours of sleep a night. Sleep is vital to maintain good health. It is also an essential function that allows your body to rest after working hard all day. How much sleep we need for that good health depends on our age. The amount of sleep that we need varies throughout our lives. 

Stage of Life

How Many Hours Needed

Newborns

14-17

Infants

12-15

Toddlers

11-14

Pre-Schoolers

10-13

School-aged Children

9-11

Teenagers

8-10

Adults

7-9

Older Adults

7-8

Despite the rule, some believe that they could train their bodies to need less sleep. When you have any sleep debt, naps are typically used to help you catch up. With sleep debt, it is a good idea to take a 20 minute nap, which gives you plenty of time to recharge. If you nap for longer than the recommended time, then you could end up descending into deep sleep and waking up groggy. 

If you are not in sleep debt though, naps could still be a good thing for you to do. Take your naps during the afternoon, and keep them to the recommended twenty minutes. They could lead to behavioral improvements, improvement in mood, a lower level of sleepiness, and less fatigue. Overall, monitor how long you are sleeping everyday, and be careful to not sleep longer than you need to, per the table above. 

For those who do not get enough sleep everyday, make it a priority. Here’s how you can do so:

  • Stick to the same sleep schedule 

  • Minimize distractions

  • Have a relaxed pre-bed routine

  • Carefully monitor your caffeine intake

Sleep can help you process and retain information that you learned during the day. When you think about it, for every hour of sleep deprivation, your brain loses efficiency and experiences a sharp decrease in memory and cognitive abilities. 

The benefits of good sleep are the following:

  • Boosts immune system

  • Strengthens heart

  • Improves mood

  • Promotes hydration

  • Increases productivity

  • Enhances memory

  • Prevents weight gain

  • Increase exercise performance and more