How long is enough sleep

Scientific research shows that a proper sleep duration is essential at any age. Sleep powers the mind, restores the body, and fortifies virtually every system in the body.

National Sleep Foundation guidelines indicate that healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sound  sleep per night. As with many aspects of human biology, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to sleep. Babies, young children, and teens need even more sleep to enable their growth and development. People over 65 should also get 7 to 8 hours per night.

Approximate amount of time that a person need would possibly be approximately as follows:

  • newborns need 14–17 hours
  • infants need 12–15 hours
  • toddlers need 11–14 hours
  • preschoolers need 10–13 hours
  • school-aged children need 9–11 hours
  • teenagers need 8–10 hours
  • adults need 7–9 hours
  • older adults need 7–8 hours

People who sleep for 6 hours or fewer each night become accustomed to the effects of sleep deprivation, but this does not mean that their body needs any less sleep.

However, it is worth noting that some rare individuals do seem to function fine with fewer than 6.5 hours’ sleep each night. There is an evidence that this might be due to a rare genetic mutation, so it is probably not something that someone can train themselves to achieve.

Improving your sleep hygiene, which includes your bedroom setting and sleep-related habits, is an established way to get better rest. Examples of sleep hygiene improvements include:

  • Sticking to the same sleep schedule every day, even on weekends.
  • Practicing a relaxing pre-bed routine to make it easier to fall asleep quickly.
  • Choosing a mattress that is supportive and comfortable and outfitting it with quality pillows and bedding.

Although the amount of sleep you get each day is important, other aspects of your sleep also contribute to your health and well-being. Signs of poor sleep quality include not feeling rested even after getting enough sleep, repeatedly waking up during the night, and experiencing symptoms of sleep disorders.

Can you sleep for only 5 hours?

5 hours of sleep out of a 24-hour day isn’t enough, especially in the long term. According to a 2018 study of more than 10,000 people, the body’s ability to function declines if sleep isn’t in the seven- to eight-hour range.

4 Stages of sleep

  • N1 (formerly stage 1): The first stage of sleep and the period between being awake and falling asleep.
  • N2 (formerly stage 2): The onset of sleep begins at this stage as you become unaware of your surroundings. The body temperature drops slightly, and the breathing and heart rate become regular.
  • N3 (formerly stages 3 and 4): The deepest, most restorative sleep stage during which, breathing slows, blood pressure drops, muscles relax, hormones are released, healing occurs, and the body becomes re-energized.
  • REM: This final stage of the sleep cycle. It takes up about 25 percent of the sleep cycle. This is when the brain is most active and dreams occur. During this stage, the eyes move back and forth rapidly under eyelids. REM sleep helps boost the mental and physical performance upon wake up.

It is recommended that if you’ve routinely needed more than the average number of hours of sleep most of your life, and you don’t have excessive daytime sleepiness or impaired daytime functioning, do not make adjustments to your sleep routine.

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