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How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

Last updated on : 05 Mar, 2024

Read time : 3 min

Why is sleep essential?

Sleep is an essential activity required for the healthy functioning of a human body framework. However, a sedentary lifestyle, including excessive use of smartphones, physical inactivity and poor eating habits, has hugely affected our sleeping cycle, and younger adults are more prone to it. We might not realize it initially, but frequent sleep deprivation can decrease our quality of life. It affects our concentration and attention, reduces our productivity and develops health problems such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart failure, obesity, eating disorders, stain on the eyes, chronic headache and depression. Long-term sleep deprivation can develop a severe neurological condition that can be fatal.

Insufficient sleep in kids can hamper their brain development and learning ability. They may not be able to concentrate in classrooms. They can also experience growth and weight issues that can be depressing.

Factors that influence your sleeping hours

1. Misconception about sleeping hours

It’s a prevalent medical misconception that everyone needs 7-9 hours of sleep for cognitive functioning, irrespective of age. However, that is not true. The sleeping hours required by our body depend on age.

  • A newborn of up to 3 months needs 14–17 hours of sleep
  • An infant of 4-11 months needs 12–15 hours of sleep
  • Toddlers of 1 to 2 years need 11–14 hours of sleep
  • A pre-schoolers of 3-5 years need 10–13 hours of sleep
  • A school-going child of 6-12 years needs 9–11 hours of sleep
  • Teenagers of 13-18 years need 8–10 hours of sleep
  • Adults of 18-64 years need 7–9 hours of sleep
  • Adults beyond 65 years need 7–8 hours of sleep

2. Pregnancy

The hormonal changes during pregnancy make you exhausted and nauseous, especially during the first 12 weeks. These factors can have an impact on the quality and duration of your sleep. Usually, pregnancy makes you sleep more in the first trimester.

3. Sleep Quality

Sleep quality depends on whether you can able to encounter realistic dreams or not. If you cannot experience the dreaming phase of sleep that begins 90 mins after you sleep, your memory and coping skills are badly affected, and you will need extra hours of sleep to improve your sleep quality.

4. Sleep deprivation

Frequent sleep deprivations due to your odd working hours, social life or sleep disorders can also increase your sleep.

5. Ageing

Ageing is a considerable risk factor that influences sleeping hours. Most older age group experience pain due to chronic health conditions for which they rely on medications. It makes them sleep lighter and wake up after short intervals during the night, and they become more irritable and depressed, followed by memory problems.

Read moreLack of Quality Sleep and its Effects

Here’s how appropriate sleeping hours can benefit you

  • Keep your metabolic health aligned to help you maintain an ideal body weight
  • Improve your productivity and concentration at work
  • Lower the risk of heart problems, type 2 diabetes and neurological disorders.
  • Assists in the treatment and prevention of depression
  • Improve your consciousness to reduce the risk of road accidents and injuries
  • Supports healthy relationships and increases your social skills

Since appropriate sleeping hours are associated with reduced risk of several health effects, including heart conditions, type 2 diabetes, depression, weight gain, inflammation, and weakened immunity. Therefore, it is good to keep track of your sleeping hours and get sufficient sleep according to age.

Disclaimer: The information given in this article is true to our best knowledge. Still, we recommend that you consult your doctor if you are experiencing sleeping problems.

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Our healthcare experts have carefully reviewed and compiled the information presented here to ensure accuracy and trustworthiness. It is important to note that this information serves as a general overview of the topic and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or cure any health problem. This page does not establish a doctor-patient relationship, nor does it replace the advice or consultation of a registered medical practitioner. We recommend seeking guidance from your registered medical practitioner for any questions or concerns regarding your medical condition.


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