We all know that sleep is important. And we know how our bodies tend to react to a lack of sleep. We know the somewhat euphoric and energized state that we feel ourselves in when we’ve gotten enough sleep. But regardless of who we are and what we do, at some point in our lives, sleep is going to become elusive—even if very briefly.
Healthy Hours of Sleep/Night
The amount of sleep needed varies from person to person. The biggest gaps are within age. Newborns, for instance, require 14-17 hours of sleep each day—that’s two thirds of the day spent sleeping! Kiddos up to three years of age need 10-11 hours, but they also require at least a one hour nap—two hours when they’re younger. As the kiddo grows they need less and less sleep, and by the time a person reaches adulthood, they should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep each and every night. Now, not everyone—if anyone—can claim that each and every single night they get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep. Some people claim to live on very little sleep, just a few hours a night. But, while they may be able to function on little sleep, their abilities are impaired. Research shows that people who don’t get enough sleep do not perform nearly as well on complex mental tasks.
Tips for Sleeping
There is lots of advice out there for how to get more sleep. You can even take drugs that can help you fall asleep. But sleeping drugs should never be overused. To sleep better, make sure you’re getting plenty of exercise during the day. Don’t let your body be restless. Even if you are at the computer at your office for eight hours a day, make sure that you’re stretching, that you’re getting up and walking around. If you are consuming lots of caffeinated beverages all throughout the day and into the evening, try and cut back a little. The more quality hours of sleep you can get will matter in your performance the next day.