At first glance, it seems that everything is simple: to get a good night’s sleep, you just need to sleep longer. But if you are a fan of such “simple” solutions, we have bad news for you.
Why sleeping a lot is just as bad as sleeping a little
Lack of sleep has a lot of side effects: from fatigue and loss of concentration to the inability to feel like a person without drinking a lot of coffee. They are known to everyone who has passed difficult sessions or is too familiar with the phrase “tomorrow morning — deadline”. However, the transfer is fraught with serious troubles.
A large-scale study of Sleep Duration and All-Cause Mortality: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies, covering almost one and a half million adults, established a curious statistical pattern. People who sleep less than 6 hours a day have a 12% greater risk of dying prematurely from any health problems than those who rest for the standard 8 hours. But for those who like to sleep longer than 9 hours every day, the risk of dying prematurely is even higher — up to 30%!
And the desire to spend more than 8-9 hours in a dream, if it accompanies a person constantly, is a dangerous marker of Self-Reported Sleep Duration and Quality and Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality: A Dose‐Response Meta‐Analysis of cardiovascular diseases.
In General, sleep longer-sometimes, of course, a good option. But it is better not to flirt and try to keep sleep within certain norms. Moreover, these norms have already been calculated.
How much sleep you need to be productive and healthy
Experts from the American national sleep Foundation took this issue seriously. They formed an expert group of the world’s leading sleep scientists, as well as representatives of the most authoritative organizations in the field of health care: neurologists, psychiatrists, gerontologists, pediatricians…
For two years, researchers carefully studied scientific publications and reports related to sleep and its effects on the body and well-being. As a result, updated recommendations how Much Sleep Do We Really Need? , concerning the length of rest depending on age.
That’s how much sleep you need to be productive and healthy:
- Newborns (0-3 months) — 14-17 hours.
- Infants (4-11 months) — 12-15 hours.
- Kids (1-2 years) — 11-14 hours.
- Preschoolers (3-5 years old) — 10-13 hours.
- Younger students (6-13 years old) — 9-11 hours.
- Teenagers (14-17 years old) — 8-10 hours.
- Boys and girls (18-25 years old) — 7-9 hours.
- Adults (26-64 years) — 7-9 hours.
- Elderly people (65 years and older) — 7-8 hours.
The variation in numbers is related to the individual characteristics of each person. And this is understandable, because the amount of sleep we need depends not only on our age, but also on our lifestyle, activity level, and overall health.
However, the boundaries of healthy sleep are still quite categorical. If you sleep more or less than the time specified for your age group, it is most likely about sleep disorders — with certain health consequences.
The only way to start getting enough sleep is to try to ” fit ” the duration of sleep into a healthy frame.
When to go to bed to get enough sleep
Most often the problem of lack or excess sleep is caused by two things:
- You can’t go to bed on time.
- You can’t Wake up in time.
And if the solution of the first point is largely related to self-discipline, then in the second case the situation is more complicated. It often happens that, honestly going to bed at 23: 00, we Wake up when the alarm clock rings, for example, at 6: 30. But at the same time we feel completely broken — although the recommended norm seems to be met.
The reason is that sleep is a cyclical phenomenon. It consists of 5-6 time intervals of about 90 minutes each. At the beginning of the cycle, we fall asleep, closer to the middle-we sleep soundly. And by the end, the body is ready to Wake up easily-from the alarm signal or, say, sunlight.
Summary: to Wake up quickly and cheerfully, set the alarm correctly. You can calculate the time to start it yourself.
For example, use one of the mobile apps that track your sleep quality and Wake you up at the right time.
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