People, like all othe beigns need sleep to recharge their bateries and also to survive. For us sleep is important because it can tell us more about our overall health and the state in which our body is currently. A lot of people of course, can’t afford an 8 hour long rest or more, so majority of us have forgotten how it feels like to be well rested.
It is also very important to know your nightly sleep needs, so you can adjust your sleeping schedule appropriately. But since it does play such an important role in our lives, it is not uncommon to ask ourselves, how much sleep do we really need.
Sleeping as a necessity
The way we sleep, and also, how much we sleep affects our lives more than we know. If you are sleep depraved lately, than you will feel a loss of mental sharpness, fatigue, less productivity and overall not „fueled“ enough to face daily struggles of waking life. It might seem to you that sleep is just time when we shut off, and rest.
But actually, our brain keeps working even then. He goes trough everything, and maintains our brain cells and prepares us for the next day. If we don’t get enough hours of that restoration, we won’t be able to perform our best. If you miss those hours in the long run, than your body might just breakdown.
The main concern of course, is that, we have busy schedules and we are afraid that sleeping too much is a luxury. But, when you actually see that your productivity is encreased by getting enough sleep, you will be able to perform much more efficiently. So, more good night sleep, means sharper mind, and more productive workday!
National Institutes of Health have agreed on the number of sleep hours an average adult gets every night. And that number is less than seven hours of sleep per night. So, the numbers don’t shock you, and you find them to be pretty good? Well, you are wrong. Although our face paced society does make you think it sounds like enough, in reality it is a road to chronic sleep deprivation.
If you belong to the category of these people, and you say that you function just fine. That doesn’t mean that you are doing good. Your body may be showing signs of sleep deprivation, and you are just shutting those signs down.
The average amount of sleep hours for an adult is between 7.5 and 9 hours per night. The younger you are, you need more sleep. So, a newborn needs from 12-18 hours of sleep every night. Children from 5-12 years need 10-11 hours, teenagers from 8.5-10 hours.
Some researchers have found that only 3% of the world population has a gene that allows them to sleep only six hours a day, and the rest of us, definitely need more than that.
Give yourself a break
If you as an adult find it hard to sleep full 7.5 or more hours per night, than a little day nap will fill in just fine. After a long day at work, give yourself a nice 20-30 minutes nap that will help you to recharge and get back on your feet. You will feel more energized and ready to conquer the rest of the day.
Many great minds trough history were known for taking naps during the day like Albert Einstein, Ronald Reagan, Winston Churchill and others. Naps can also help you to be more alert, and reduce mistakes and accidents. Make sure to take a nap in a comfortable enviroment, to get the most out of it. You can also look at your nap as a little vacation you give yourself troughout the day, and feel rejuvenated in the end.
Besides all the benefits, there are some downsides to napping. With people that feel grouchy after waking up from deep sleep, it can be dangerous if they perhaps work immediately after napping. So keep that in mind if you belong to this category.
Watch out for the signs
If you are sleep deprived, and maybe unaware of it, than make sure to watch out for the signs that your body is sending you. All the times when you are bored in a meeting, or feeling sleepy after dinner could be the signs that you have sleep deprivation.
Not enough sleep, makes us less concentrated and aware of our surroundings. Relying on your alarm clock in the morning, hitting the snooze button too often, feeling tired in the after noon, or you NEED a nap to get you trough the day might be the signs of sleep deprivation.
So, if these things happen to you a lot, than it is time to make a change.
Sleep deprivation might sound like something that you can cope with, and not that big of a deal. But, in long-term you are basically exhausting your body and making it prone to various mental and physical conditiones. Some of them are fatigue, lethargy, depression, lack of motivation, moodines, weight gain, concentration and memory problems.
When you look at these problems, than sleep deprivation could start to seem like a big deal. Even problems like weight gain, can also be a result of lack of sleep. Since, when you don’t sleep enough, in the morning you are probably going to crave sweets and high carb foods which add to your waistline.
Getting back on track
You are now probably wondering, what can you do to improve the quality of your sleep. Well, numbers are not the only thing important here, it is also the quality of sleep.
You want to make sure that you remove all the distractions from your bedroom, like TV’s, laptops, phones, and stay disconnected for those few hours. Make your bedroom dark, cool, quiet and your bed comfortable so you can get the best rest possible. Avoid drinking or smoking late at night since they can also affect your sleep. Stick to your sleeping schedule as much as you can, even on weekends. Deep sleep is what you need during the night to boost your immune system, repair muscles and tissues and feel rejuvenated in the morning.
In conclusion, you want to give yourself the best possible treatment and take care of your body. Good night sleep will deffinitely help you achieve that goal. The more productive you are, the more work will be done, and that won’t happen if you don’t get your hours of rest. So, don’t cut yourself short of the thing that will keep you healthy in the future.