Sleep is one of the most critical aspects of human life, which is quintessential for functioning. Not only this, but it is also an integral indicator of the health and well-being of every individual. Over a third of a human's life is spent sleeping. Therefore, it remains an inextricably important factor throughout an individual's life and must not be taken lightly.
Even though every individual is mostly aware of the 8-hour sleep rule, very few take it seriously. This leads to sleep debt, and being indeed rested is a concept that becomes very far from reality. Further, the modern lifestyle also interferes and adds to this sleep debt significantly. A few factors that disrupt the natural cycle include stress, light from electronic devices, alarm clocks, and additional stimulants such as energy drinks, coffee, etc.
According to the National Sleep Foundation reports, what constitutes a sufficient sleep duration shall vary based on age factors. The report also highlights that those who do not sleep within the recommended range have a high propensity to exhibit serious health concerns.
To ascertain as an individual how much sleep does one compulsorily require, various pointers are to be noted. This can be done by self-reflecting and understanding your own needs by observing your feelings on different amounts of sleep.
- Whether you are experiencing sleep problems?
- Whether your feelings change if you exclude caffeine throughout the day?
- Whether you feel active, healthy, and productive during the day?
- Whether the mood swings at are bay after a particular period of sleep?
Dr. Max, an expert on the matter, also states that there are various ranges for recommended sleep cycles, and the same must be followed. A summary of the new recommendations includes-
- Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range 14-17 hours each day
- Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range 12-15 hours
- Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range 11-14 hours
- Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range 10-13 hours
- School-age children (6-13): Sleep range 9-11 hours
- Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range 8-10 hours
- Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range 7-9 hours
- Adults (26-64): Sleep range 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65+): Sleep range 7-8 hours
Sticking to a proper sleep schedule and complying with these recommendations can go a long way and forms a very healthy lifestyle. Increased and adequate sleep can not only lower stress levels but also improve health-related difficulties. Better-quality sleep also affects the immune system and encourages weight management and better eating habits. Undertaking a meditation session for rest before bedtime can help you fall asleep faster, and once asleep, you're likely to sleep more soundly. The more you practice mindful meditation, the more likely you develop a calm and relaxed mind that can sleep at peace.
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