It boosts your mood, improves your memory, curbs your appetite, and is required by everyone of every age. And no, it’s not a
supplement pill. We’re talking about sleep. But do you ever wonder “how many hours of sleep do I need?” Quiz yourself then read on to learn the facts.
“Many things that we take for granted are affected by sleep,” says Raymonde Jean, MD, director of sleep medicine and associate director of critical care at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City. “If you sleep better, you can certainly live better. It’s pretty clear.”
Sleep is linked to many health benefits such as longer lifespans, higher creativity levels, and better attention, and the side effects of sleep deprivation can actually aggravate health conditions. But unfortunately, an overwhelming number of adults in the U.S. — and worldwide — are missing the recommended amount of hours of sleep needed per day. Why? Researchers blame technological advances and living in a constantly “connected” society. It seems having easy access to smartphones, laptops, television sets, and other digital devices 24/7 isn’t the best when it comes to sleep.
“With artificial lighting, we’ve been able to fool our brain and internal clocks that it’s still daylight and remain alert,” said Phyllis C. Zee, MD, PhD, a neurology professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and director of its Sleep Disorders Center in Chicago. “Bedtimes have become later, but wake times have not. The result is a sleep-deprived society.”
Sleep: How Much Do We Need?
While there isn’t one specific number when it comes to sleep, the National Sleep Foundation recommends adults grab between seven and nine hours of sleep (not including naps).
Think you’re alone in hitting your ideal amount of sleep? You’re not. According to a 2013 poll by Gallup, 40% of Americans get by with less than 6 hours of sleep.
But what about other age ranges? The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following when it comes to sleep:
Tell us, are you logging the recommended amount of sleep for your age range?