The question of how much sleep is enough is dependent on varying factors. Getting quality sleep is greatly refreshing and naturally rejuvenating . However, too little or too much of sleep could be harmful.
How much sleep do we actually need?
There are factors that can affect how many hours of sleep one needs.
There are variation in the duration of sleep needed in relation to age.
Age group Recommended amount of sleep
- Infants, 9-10 hours at night, plus 3 or more hours of naps
Toddlers, 9-10 hours at night, plus 2-3 hours of naps
School-age children, 9 -11 hours of sleep is recommended.
Adults 7-8 hours of sleep
Changes in a woman’s body during early pregnancy can increase the need for sleep. About 7 – 9hours of sleep is recommended for pregnant women.
Studies have shown that not getting enough sleep during pregnancy could affect a woman in ways that go beyond feeling exhausted during the day, being irritable and having poor concentration.
Older adults need about the same amount of sleep as younger adults. As you get older, however, your sleeping patterns might change. Older adults tend to sleep more lightly and for shorter time spans than do younger adults.This might create a need for spending more time in bed to get enough sleep, or a tendency toward daytime napping.
Previous sleep deprivation
If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases. Sleep deprivation could result from sleep disorders, other illnesses, work related stress e.t.c
If your sleep is frequently interrupted or cut short, you’re not getting quality sleep.
The quality of your sleep is just as important as the quantity.
Studies have shown that people who sleep very little over many nights don’t perform as well on complex mental tasks as do people who get closer to seven hours of sleep a night.
Also, studies among adults show that getting less or much more than seven hours of sleep a night is associated with a higher mortality rate.
It is very important therefore, that one get enough sleep to stay healthy. However, if you find yourself sleeping excessively, daytime sleepiness even after having quality sleep, don’t hesitate to visit the doctor.