How Many Hours of Sleep is Healthy

Sleep is one of the most important things that you do each day. Without adequate sleep, you will find yourself exhausted, your productivity decreases and you are not as sharp and focused as you need to be. It is important that you know how much to sleep because you need a good sleep balance.

How many hours of sleep is healthy? The answer to this question will vary based on your age and several other factors. It is important to determine the right amount and that you get this amount each night to ensure optimal health.

How Many Hours Should I Sleep?

When you sleep, your body goes through three primary sleep cycles and it is important that you are going through all of these for the right amount of time in order to get restful sleep. The three stages of sleep are as follows:

  • Stage one: During this stage, the sleep is not very restorative. You are just lightly dozing.
  • Stage two: This is middle sleep and it is moderately restorative.
  • Stage three: This is the most restorative stage of sleep. It is a slow-wave deep sleep.

You also have non-REM and REM sleep. When you are dreaming you are in REM sleep, or rapid eye movement. When you are not dreaming, you are in non-REM sleep.

To get through all of the stages of sleep, you have to sleep the right amount of hours and this will vary by age. For the average adult, for example, the average is 7 to 9 hours per night. It is important to note that while you need to get enough sleep, you have to be mindful and make sure that you are not getting too much sleep because this can cause problems too.

How Many Hours of Sleep Do Adults Need?

Adults ages 18 and older should make sure to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Even if you think you feel great on more or less sleep, lack of sleep is doing damage.  There are some signs that will tell you if you are not getting enough sleep and these include:

  • To wake up in the morning, you have to use an alarm clock
  • Within five minutes of going to bed, you fall asleep most night of the week
  • You feel the need to take naps several days a week just to get through the day
  • You start to feel drowsy when you are relaxing, such as when you are watching television
  • When you do not have to work on the weekends, you feel like you have to sleep in to catch up on sleep
  • You frequently hit your snooze button to get a few more hours of sleep

How Many Hours of Sleep Do Teenagers Need?

Those weird moods and other issues that you notice in teenagers may not be related to their hormones, but due to not getting the right amount of sleep. These may include:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Irritability and moodiness
  • Having a difficult time solving problems or being creative
  • Having a hard time trying to cope with stress
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Getting sick more often than is normal for them
  • Gaining weight
  • Having problems with memory, focus and concentration
  • Sleeping in very late on the weekends

It is common for teenagers to not get enough sleep because they are so busy with school, extracurricular activities and trying to keep up with their friends and a busy social schedule.

Teenagers are those ages 13 to 18 years old. Those in this age bracket need to get between 8.5 hours and 10 hours each night. This is critical to ensure things like good grades and good extracurricular performance.

How Many Hours Should a Newborn Sleep?

Your newborn needs a lot of sleep to grow and thrive. On average. Newborns need 12 to 18 hours of sleep per day. Newborns are those ages birth to two months old.

Newborns tend to sleep in spurts throughout the day, but make sure that the sleep schedule is relatively regular to ensure that they are getting enough sleep and to make sure that the sleep is high in quality.

How Many Hours Do Babies Sleep?

The baby and toddler years are a critical time of development and to ensure proper development, children in this age bracket must get adequate sleep. Babies, which include those ages three months to one year old, need to get 14 to 15 hours of sleep each night.

This ensures that their body is restored and getting the rest that it requires to grow and thrive. Create a bedtime routine for your baby and stick to it. This will help them to sleep well through the night.

How Many Hours of Sleep Do Children Need?

The age of the child determines exactly how much sleep they need. Use the following to ensure that your children are getting the right amount of sleep each night:

  • Children ages three to five need to get between 11 and 13 hours of sleep every night
  • Children ages five to 12 need to get between 10 and 11 hours of sleep each night

Make sure that you set a solid bedtime for your children and create a relaxing pre-bed routine. This will make it easier to get your kids to bed and make sure that they get all of the rest that they need.

How many hours of sleep is healthy? You now have the answer to this question and you can start working toward getting good sleep every night. Make sure that you set up a sleep schedule that you are able to stick to on a nightly basis.

This makes it easier to ensure that you are getting adequate sleep. A solid schedule will also balance your sleep-wake cycle so that you can be sure that you are able to get a restful night’s sleep because your body will be ready for sleep when it is time to go to bed.

Causes of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation is lack of adequate sleep. An adult requires seven to nine hours of sleep per night. However, in today’s world, only a few people can achieve this and therefore most of the sleep-deprived individuals are unaware of it. Sleeping gives the body an opportunity to refresh and repair itself.

Therefore, lack of enough sleep deprives the body of sufficient time to rejuvenate itself. Sleep deprivation can be either chronic or acute. However, it is impossible for humans to go completely without sleep and therefore the most common form of sleep deprivation is chronic sleep-restriction. Chronic sleep deprivation mainly affects performance, health and safety with most effects being on the human cognitive function.

Sleep Deprivation Causes

The causes of sleep deprivation can be broadly categorized into two:

Behavioral Causes:

The patient chooses not to sleep. This condition may sound quite simple to remedy. However, the most challenging part is convincing the patient that they actually need more sleep. This is mainly attributable to societal norms where a high value is placed on constant activity.

This can be caused by use of stimulants such as caffeine, cocaine and amphetamines which induce alertness and hence sleep deprivation. Another cause is taking many short naps instead of an extended period of sleep.

Medical Causes:

Most medical causes are side effects of other conditions or disorders whose main effect is disrupting normal slumber. For instance, sleep apnea, which is a breathing problem, causes patients to wake up several times to prevent asphyxiation. Mental illnesses that cause hyper activity such as maniac states keep the patients awake for long spans of time.

Some medications cause sleep disorders and therefore the physician should prompt alternative prescriptions. Insomnia, which is inability to take advantage of sleeping time, is another leading cause and it includes trouble staying or falling asleep and failure of sleep to refresh the body and is related to sleep deprivation because it deprives the body off a full night sleep.

Common Causes of Sleep Deprivation

Pets in Bed:

Even though letting your pet snuggle in bed may provide comfort, it actually makes it harder for you to sleep. This is because our sleep and wake cycles differ from those of animals and hence whatever time seems appropriate for your pet to wake up may disrupt your sleep. The tags on your pet’s collar may clank as it shuffles which may wake you up. If you feel exhausted, try finding a new spot for your pet to sleep and see if it makes a difference.

Nightcaps and Alcohol:

Most people believe that drinking makes you drowsy, however, the body’s response mechanism especially to alcohol is quite complicated. Alcohol acts as a sedative for the first few hours but ends up waking you up once the level of alcohol in your blood drops, which ends up affecting your sleep rhythm. To avoid this effect, stop drinking at least two hours before sleeping.

Smoking

Among the various negative impacts of smoking, sleep disruption and reducing the sleeping time are very important. Compared to nonsmokers, smokers are also likely to daydream more.

If you are facing sleep problems and are a smoker, you should quit smoking immediately. While the sleep disorders from smoking could not be reduced overnight, you should be able to experience the improvements gradually. It is wise to discuss with your physician about any prescription medicine to make the process easier.

Undiagnosed Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder:

GERD patients often find it hard to sleep at night mainly because once they lie down they experience pain and heartburns as acid flows back to the esophagus. Incase you are diagnosed with GERD, its vital to seek treatment which will not only help you sleep but it also reduces the risk of developing of other complications besides sleep deprivation.

Medicine, supplements and vitamins: common drugs such as beta-blockers for heart problems and high blood pressure can cause trouble sleeping. Drugs for relieving pain such as opioid can either cause drowsiness or sleep apnea. Supplements such as guarana and ginseng are stimulants and are known causes of sleep deprivation. Vitamins B12 and B6 on the other hand cause vivid dreams and its better to take them in the morning.

When you experience sleep problems, give your physician a complete list of all medicines, supplements and vitamins that you are using. Ask whether any of them may be the cause of the sleep deprivation.

Pain:

Any form of pain including mild pain can disrupt your sleep. Common causes include menstrual pains, back pain, arthritis and headaches. The pain does not have to wake you up nor does it have to be severe. The pain signals sent to your brain reduces the time you spend in deep slumber. Most people with chronic pain wake up feeling more tired because their sleep is less restful. If you experience any form of pain (Mild or chronic) you should have a doctor check it out.

Being Exhausted Other Than Sleepy:

Contrary to common belief, being exhausted does not make you sleep better. There is a great difference between being sleepy and feeling exhausted. In most cases, when you are exhausted, your body is usually too revved up and therefore you cannot sleep. Don’t go straight to bed once you get home from a stressful day, instead sit quietly for a short time and relax to avoid tossing and turning in bed.

Undiagnosed Sleep Disorder:

Sleep disorders greatly reduce the quality of sleep. Conditions such as sleep apnea cause snoring and hence interrupt your deep sleep. Because most of these conditions manifest when you are asleep, you may not note the symptoms. On the other hand, if your partner has a sleeping disorder such as snoring and kicking you may not sleep well.

Other causes of sleep deprivation include; too much light, noises, extreme temperatures or the hot flushes experienced during menopause. Whenever you experience trouble with your sleep and you can’t sort out the cause, set up an appointment with your physician to avoid any serious consequences.

In order to tell whether you are experiencing sleep deprivation, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

Do you fall asleep as soon as you get in bed?
Do you need several cups of coffee in order to get through the day?
Do you have to sleep in on weekends?

Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation Short-term Consequences :

Cognitive impairment and poor memory: The ability to think and process information is greatly impaired.

Stress and problems in relationships: If a sleeping disorder that disrupts the sleep of your partner then conflicts may arise. On the other hand, the partner may become moody or prefer sleeping in a separate bedroom. Sleep deprivation is among the leading causes of occupational injury. Sleepiness double the chances of sustaining injury while at work.

Automobile injury: The motor skills diminish due to fumbling and reduced concentration, which may lead to accidents. Sleep deprivation reduces your stress handling ability making simple routines appear difficult.

Increased appetite: The mental demands make the cravings seem impossible to control mainly because the hormones signal that it is time to eat.

Vision problem: 
When you are sleepy, the world appears fuzzy and you experience difficulties focusing and visual distortions. This increases the chances of mishaps such as crashes and falls.

Medical problems: Sleep deprivation leads to high body temperatures and high blood pressure. Diabetic people become less sensitive to insulin.

Mood swings: Manageable situations appear more irritating and you can be easily set off. The immune system becomes suppressed and vulnerable to infections such as flu and colds.

Long-term consequences

The consequences of not sleeping longer is associated with numerous medical illnesses including:

  • Heart failure
  • Heart attack
  • Obesity
  • Stroke
  • Psychiatric problems such as mood disorders and depression
  • Mental impairment
  • Growth retardation in children and fetus

Besides impairing your health, sleep deprivation also reduces your productivity significantly. Accidents caused by employees who are sleep deprived have led to loss of millions of dollars. On the other hand, drivers who are sleep deprived are a hazard to themselves and others too mainly due to slow reaction.

Therefore, even as you struggle to fulfill your duties and obligations, it is vital that you always get enough deep sleep to avoid Sleep deprivation and its consequences.

Sleep Deprivation Symptoms

The term “sleep deprivation” is described as having insufficient sleep, whichever for a long or short period of time. During sleeping hours, our body repairs and refreshes it self. So, if a person is not getting adequate amount of sleep, the body undergo tough time to rejuvenate since it does not get the appropriate number of sleeping hours to function well. Are you infected with chlamydia?

Sleep Deprivation Symptoms

An average person adult must have at least seven to eight hours of sleep at night, though this is something that few people in modern life can successfully achieve. Many of us are not aware that they are already experiencing sleep deprivation symptoms.

Sleep deprivation can occur for a lot of reasons, and this may include insomnia, nightmare, stressful life, work and family responsibilities, too many worries, time and environment change, depression, a new baby, not properly diagnose medical condition, or an undiagnosed sleep disorder. Sleep deprivation can have serious effects on one’s mental and physical condition. It could affect his or her productivity and social life.

There are many companies that lose millions of dollars due to mistakes and accidents attributable to sleep deprived employees. These individuals who are on the roadway can be a danger to themselves as well as to others. Someone that is experiencing sleep deprivation symptoms then drive can be just as risky as a drunk driver because of slower response to any impulses around him.

symptoms of sleep deprivation are:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of memory
  • slurred speech difficulty with social and personal relationship
  • bad temper
  • hypertension
  • tremors
  • hazy vision
  • slower reaction time
  • easily get irritated
  • anxiety
  • unable to solve problems
  • incapable of concentrating on thoughts or tasks
  • prejudice to activity
  • decreased level of energy
  • awkwardness

In addition, sleep deprivation can cause increase in body weight, diabetes and hypertension due to abnormal metabolism. The symptoms of sleep deprivation should be given proper care and attention since they have great effects on the way you feel and how you deal with your daily life.

Sleep deprivation symptoms can also include increase possibilities of more serious health problems. Since the immune system restore its energy during sleep, people suffering from sleep deprivation are more recurrently sick or catch a longer time to recover from illness.

Therefore, as an obvious conclusion, if you are suffering from sleep deprivation symptoms, all you need is to have a good and enough number of sleeping hours. However, for many, this is so complicated. Luckily, there are lots of options that you could choose to manage this sleeping disorder. You could treat your own sleep deprivation and reduce the symptoms by finding and correcting the source of the problem that prevents you from enjoying a good night sleep.

Sleep Insomnia

For example, if you are dealing with a stressful work condition or environment, you have the chance to find a new job that is less demanding and won’t give you too much stress and pressure. In this sense, it reduces the symptoms of sleep deprivation. If that resolution is the reason, or moving from a stressful job to a less stressful job is not a good choice, you can try some relaxation techniques; change your sleeping environmental have a proper diet.

Know the symptoms and the causes why you are being deprived to have a good and relaxing sleep. Reduce the indications; get the best and sufficient sleep you need.

Expert Tips for Dealing with Sleep Apnea

When you are not getting quality rest, it becomes really difficult to continue your day to day tasks. And among various types of sleeping problems, sleep apnea is often considered a major one. Even children can suffer from sleep apnea.

When you notice that your child wakes up tired each day, hard to wake up in the morning, angry or rude or their grades are suffering at school, poor sleep due to sleep apnea could be the culprit.

In this post, I will share some of the most effective tips for dealing with sleep apnea.

Use a Mouth Guard

It is not easy to tell if you are suffering from sleep apnea if you don’t sleep with someone who can describe your sleep patterns. Try taping yourself at night to see if you do.

Speak with your physician about getting a mouth guard that can help alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea. A recessed chin or a smaller jaw can cause sleep apnea. You will get better rest if you wear a custom mouth guard that aligns your jaw properly while sleeping.

Lose a few pounds if you need to. Studies have shown sleep apnea symptoms are more common in people who are overweight. If you are obese, you may see a marked difference in how your sleep apnea affects you.

Consult Your Physician

There is no reason to suffer from sleep apnea unnecessarily when there are options to help you. Make an appointment with a doctor to ensure the necessary amount of sleep for you.Communicate with your doctor before and after you get a sleep apnea diagnosis. Your doctor can give you the benefit of his or her medical expertise and help guide you towards the best treatments for your problem.Keeping a sleep log can help your doctor diagnose you with sleep apnea. All hours slept or spent awake should be recorded.

If you have chronic sleeping problems, you can also try sleeping pills. Sleeping pills can make your throat muscles relax. Consult with your practitioner to see which one should be the best sleeping pill according to your physical condition.

If you are having issues with your nose, you can use nasal spray. This product will clear excess mucus and from your airways, and some formulas reduce inflammation.

If the air you breathe is moist, you will have a better night’s sleep. There are many different CPAP machines that are equipped with built-in humidifiers, so ask your doctor about prescribing one for your apnea.

Continue to talk to your doctor, even after your initial diagnosis. This way you can talk to them about your progress.

Monitor the Sleeping Pattern

Your sleeping pattern may also disrupt your sleep cycle. The best thing you can do is to set a specific time to go to sleep and wake up each day.If you have sleep apnea, you should not drink excessively. This will provoke your throat muscles to collapse.

If you have problem in falling asleep faster, soak in a bath before bedtime each night.A hot bath can help sooth your aches and pains. This will help you ready for a restful night’s sleep and decreases the risk of a sleep apnea incident.

Stick to one normal sized pillow as you sleep.This makes you in a position that can adversely affect your breathing. This is why one single pillow is best to manage your symptoms.

Sleeping on the side can be another useful tip. Sleeping on the back can obstruct your airways and cause air passages to constrict. Try to fall asleep on one of your sides to see if your sleep apnea this evening.

Lead a Healthy Life

Lose some weight if you’re heavy. Although it might not be the main cause, being overweight makes sleep apnea worse. Drop some vices to fight against sleep apnea. Drinking and smoking are detrimental to having longer sleep. Do not drink alcohol as you used to. Alcohol has a relaxing effect on all of your muscles. While this might often be a desirable side effect of drinking, it tends to create the problem of sleep apnea. Alcohol relaxes throat muscles and it can hurt your body. If you do drink alcohol, cut back and make sure you do it well before bedtime.Smoking damages all parts of your lungs over time.

Dropping both these habits can help ease the symptoms of sleep apnea.

If you do not have a partner to let you know how you sleep at night, it can be difficult to assess if you have sleep apnea. A video recorder can help you discover whether you are sleeping well or struggling.

Miscellaneous Tips

Playing music on wind instruments can be beneficial to your sleep apnea. A German study found that playing wind instruments such as the didgeridoowill help your sleep apnea. These particular muscles are the key to dilation and control how stiff your airway walls get.

Try an over-the-counter device. Snoring occurs when air passages are almost closed, and apnea involves them being completely shut with no airflow. It is understandable that something can help both.Your sleep apnea can be curtailed a bit with the use of a snoring prevention device.

If the situation is really bad, you should go for sleep apnea treatments like CPAP therapy. Make people aware that your life would be much worse with the machine.

If you’re taking a long trip, tell the airline that you will require your CPAP machine. Most airlines will designate an area for you in a convenient place to make using your machine easier. If flying on a foreign plane, make sure you have the right power adapter.

If you are taking a vacation and suffer from sleep apnea, don’t forget to bring your CPAP machine along. When sleep apnea affects you, do not attempt even a single night without your CPAP machine.

If you are going to be hospitalized for any reason, make sure your CPAP is with you. Your CPAP and your mask should be with you whether you’re admitted to the hospital or visiting the emergency room.This will make continuing your CPAP therapy during your hospital stay.

Concluding Remarks

It is clear from the information shared in this article that sleep apnea is a serious condition that impacts all areas of a person’s life. Your doctor can help you discover the underlying reasons for your sleep apnea and the best treatments for you.Keep these tips in mind tonight when you are going to bed and you might find the treatment that is right for you.