How much sleep do you need? A neuroscientist crunches the numbers

How much sleep is enough? You might have heard the old adage about eight hours of shut-eye being the optimal amount, but in reality your ne...

How much sleep is enough? You might have heard the old adage about eight hours of shut-eye being the optimal amount, but in reality your needs will vary throughout your lifetime. When it comes to snoozing, your age, health and even your work can each have an impact on how many hours of sleep you should aim for each night.

To help break this down, we’ve analysed research and sought expert advice from Dr Lindsay Browning, a chartered psychologist, neuroscientist, author and sleep expert. Read on for the definitive guide to how much sleep you need, and how to help yourself get those restorative hours in bed.

How much sleep do you need by age?

The National Sleep Foundation’s guidelines are broken down by age, but these numbers are recommendations only; while your age is a good indicator of how much sleep you need, you need to take your personal circumstances into consideration too.

How much sleep do you need: guidelines by age
Age range Recommended hours of sleep
Newborns (0-3 months) 14-17 hours
Infants (4-11 months) 12-15 hours
Toddlers (1-2 years) 11-14 hours
Preschoolers (3-5 years) 10-13 hours
School-age children (6-13 years) 9-11 hours
Teenagers (14-17 years) 8-10 hours
Adults (18-64 years) 7-9 hours
Adults (aged 65+) 7-8 hours

How much sleep do adults need?

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults between the ages of 18 and 64 get seven to nine hours of sleep per night. This number decreases slightly for adults older than 65, with a recommended sleep time of seven to eight hours per night.

However, age is not the only deciding factor here – people who are sick or have physically demanding jobs might need more than the recommended hours.

How much sleep do you need: A man in a blue t-shirt sleeps on his side

(Image credit: Getty)

“When we’re asleep we produce antibodies, so If you’re ill you’re going to need more sleep,” explains Dr Browning. “Throw the recommendations out of the window if you’re not well and sleep as much as you need.”

Equally, those who spend their days being physically active, through work or other exercise, are also likely to need more kip. “The more physically active we are, the more we need to repair our bodies,” says Dr Browning. “The sleep you get will be deeper, and feel more restorative.”

How much sleep do teenagers need?

It’s no secret that teenagers can sleep like logs, but they’re not lazy – they’re simply doing what their bodies are instinctively telling them to do. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that teenagers aged 14-17 need around eight to 10 hours of sleep per night.

Research has shown that teenagers need more sleep than adults to help support their learning, memory, attention and cognition processing during these formative years. Their brains and bodies are maturing and developing rapidly, and sleep helps them boost their health, regulate their emotions and stay on top of their school work.

In addition, Dr Browning adds that teens might find their sleep affected by excessive intakes of caffeine and alcohol, which their bodies might not be used to processing.

Why do our sleep needs change with age?

We generally need less sleep as we get older because our bodies stop growing and our brains don’t process as much new information as they did when we were younger.

“When you sleep you produce a growth hormone and your body can physically grow,” explains Dr Browning. “So newborn babies will need tons more sleep than adults. As we get older we stop growing, so we don’t need as much sleep.

Two women with dark hair cuddle while sleeping in bed

(Image credit: Getty)

“Equally, when we’re learning new things, we need more sleep to process those learnings. For a baby, just moving its hand can be a new sensation, while children are learning language, maths, identifying things such as trees... Then when we get older, we generally know everything we need to already.”

Dr Browning adds that our sleep also becomes lighter as we age, meaning that we become easier to wake up. While it’s normal to wake up through the night, we’re more likely to remember these awakenings as we age, as they are likely to become longer and more frequent. 

“You think your sleep is suddenly of a really poor quality, but generally speaking, that’s simply not true; you’re just more aware of these breaks in your sleep,” she reveals.

How to get the sleep you need

First things first, Dr Browning suggests implementing some wind-down time before bed – just like you had as a child. “As adults, we’ll be doing complex work projects in the evening, watching exciting TV programmes, having an argument with our spouse and then expecting that we’ll just go to sleep instantly. Of course that doesn’t happen; it’s unreasonable,” says Dr Browning.

Light is also an important factor. The blue light emitted from screens tells your brain that it’s daytime, so limiting your use of devices near bedtime helps keep your body’s circadian rhythm in check. 

A woman walks through a park on a sunny autumn morning to help her sleep better at night

(Image credit: Getty)

Equally, make sure you’re exposed to adequate daylight. “As biological creatures, we’re designed to see sunshine during the day, so we should go outside at lunch to tell our brains it’s the middle of the day. Then, when evening comes, our brain can say, ‘OK, now we need to sleep’.” You might also enjoy using a wake up light on darker mornings.

Also consider your bedroom environment. “You shouldn’t use your bedroom for anything other than sleep and sex,” advises Dr Browning. “That way, your brain will associate your bedroom with rest – but we have to balance that with real life.” Dr Browning recommends making sure your bedroom isn’t reminding you of things you haven’t finished, or your brain will be too distracted to sleep.

Finally, ensure you have the best mattress for your body and some comfy bedding. “Mattresses generally have a life span of seven to eight years,” says Dr Browning. “After that, they’re probably not as supportive as they need to be and less comfortable, so your sleep won’t be as good. Try to wash your sheets weekly – just think of how lovely it is to get into freshly laundered linen.”

Who devised these sleep guidelines?

The National Sleep Foundation published its official sleep guidelines in March 2015. They were devised by a multidisciplinary expert panel of 18 members, who represented 12 stakeholder organisations and six sleep experts. The panel analysed the findings of 312 scientific articles relating to sleep duration recommendations. 

This article is part of TechRadar's Sleep Week 2021 (Sunday 31 October to Sunday 7 November) our in-depth look at sleep and how to snooze better. We've teamed up with experts in their field to bring you sleep techniques and tips to help you drift off easier, and have rounded-up the best sleep kit and Black Friday mattress deals to transform your bedroom into a den of zen.

from TechRadar - All the latest technology news https://ift.tt/2ZPk15c



Apps,3856,Business,149,Camera,1155,Earn $$$,2,Gadgets,1740,Games,926,GTA,1,Innovations,2,Mobile,1696,Paid Promotions,4,Promotions,4,Technology,7935,Trailers,796,Travel,37,Trendly News,23994,Video,5,XIAOMI,13,
Trendly News | #ListenNow #Everyday #100ShortNews #TopTrendings #PopularNews #Reviews #TrendlyNews: How much sleep do you need? A neuroscientist crunches the numbers
How much sleep do you need? A neuroscientist crunches the numbers
Trendly News | #ListenNow #Everyday #100ShortNews #TopTrendings #PopularNews #Reviews #TrendlyNews
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share. STEP 2: Click the link you shared to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy