Our overall health and development are significantly affected by the rest we get daily, so experts advise that we should all follow certain recommendations when it comes to sleep duration.
The National Sleep Foundation recommended sleep time according to age, and the number of hours you should sleep determines whether you will have enough energy during the day, optimal health, and mental clarity.
Sleep problems can be a result of various factors, one of the main being stress and modern technology.
Stress stimulates the production of cortisol, the “stress hormone”. In high levels, this hormone causes restful sleep, sickness, and discomfort. On the other hand, the light emitted by technological devices impedes the ability of the brain to release melatonin, since the body produces this hormone in the dark.
Sleep difficulties lead to physical tiredness, difficulties to think clearly, make decisions, and concentrate, and lead to appetite loss. It has been found that sleep problems are directly linked to various health issues.
Sleeping less than 5 hours affects heart health, while less than 7 hours leads to weight gain, diabetes, and obesity. Always make sure you sleep enough hours in order to prevent health problems.
New Guidelines for sleep hours
Charles Czeisler, a professor at Harvard University, together with a team of experts, conducted a research, including of many studies from 2004 to 2014, in order to find out the needed sleep hours, and the effects of sleep on the health.
According to the different development stages, they made the following conclusions:
- Newborn (0 to 3 months): 14 to 17 hours.
- Babies (4 to 11 months): 12 to 15 hours.
- Children (1-2 years): 11 to 14 hours.
- Preschool (3-5 years): 10 to 13 hours.
- School Age (6-13 years): 9 to 11 hours.
- Teens (14 to 17): 8 to 10 hours.
- Youth (18-25 years): 7 to 9 hours.
- Adults (26-64 years): 7 to 9 hours.
- Seniors (over 65 years): 7 to 8 hours.
Yet, bear in mind that each individual needs different hours of rest, so these guidelines are approximate. However, it is a fact that the lack of sleep poses serious health risks for all people.