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Sleep Talk: How Much Sleep Does the Body Really Need?

The best treat for a tiring day is a good night’s sleep in a soft, comfortable bed. No matter how exhausted the body is, a deep sleep can re-energize it to face another day of work or school. But how much sleep does the body really need?


The Alarm Clock Reliance People who rely on an alarm clock to wake themselves up daily don’t get enough sleep. This is what a new paper published by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) suggests. According to the study, while there’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to how much sleep the body needs, there are ways to tell if a person isn’t getting enough sleep, such as an alarm clock reliance. The author of the research stated that people need enough sleep so they can awaken feeling refreshed every day. He also said some need more sleep than others. This need is based on age, sex, genes, and previous sleep amounts, and varies across the life cycle.

Determining the Body’s Sleep Needs According to the NSF, the amount of sleep people need varies according to age and is affected by a person’s health and lifestyle. Those who want to determine their sleep needs have to examine what lifestyle factors affect the quality and quantity of their sleep, and know where they fall on the “sleep needs spectrum.” The sleep needs spectrum is a table developed by the National Sleep Foundation that identifies the ideal amount of sleep most health experts have agreed upon. According to the table, newborns need 12-18 hours of sleep, infants require 14-15 hours, toddlers need 12-14 hours, while preschoolers require 11-13 hours. School-age children need 10-11 hours of slumber, teens require 8.5-9.5 hours, and adults 7-9 hours.


Sleep Deprivation and Health Whatever amount of sleep the body needs, it’s important to get adequate slumber. Sleep deprivation increases the risk of weight gain, high blood pressure, inflammation, heart disease, and diabetes, while serious sleep problems may cause abnormalities in the brain, and nervous and immune systems. According to statistics, about 40 million Americans suffer from over 70 different sleep disorders. Stress is the leading cause of many sleep problems, with common triggers, such as family or marriage problems, school or job-related pressures, and serious illnesses. Fortunately, there are ways to improve the quality of sleep. Setting a regular sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, exercising, and investing in a comfortable bed are some tried-and-tested ways to sleep better.

Resources: http://www.mattressdepartmentutah.com/ http://www.helpguide.org/life/sleep_tips.htm http://www.bbc.com/news/health-27286872

Sleep talk: How much sleep does the body really need  
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