Lifestyle: Humans need sleep, along with food, water and oxygen, to survive. For humans sleep is a vital indicator of overall health and well-being. We spend up to one-third of our lives asleep, and the overall state of our sleep health remains an essential question throughout our lifespan.
Most of us know that getting a good night’s sleep is important, but too few of us actually make those eight or so hours between the sheets a priority. For many of us with sleep debts, we’ve forgotten what “being really, truly rested” feels like.
Sleep needs vary across ages and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health. To determine how much sleep you need, it's important to assess not only where you fall on the "sleep needs spectrum," but also to examine what lifestyle factors are affecting the quality and quantity of your sleep such as work schedules and stress.
The quality of your sleep directly affects the quality of your waking life, including your productivity, emotional balance, creativity, physical vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort!
Sleep isn’t merely a time when your body shuts off. While you rest, your brain stays busy, overseeing a wide variety of biological maintenance that keeps your body running in top condition, preparing you for the day ahead. Without enough hours of restorative sleep, you won’t be able to work, learn, create, and communicate at a level even close to your true potential. Regularly skimp on “service” and you’re headed for a major mental and physical breakdown.
Your Sleep Need Change over the Years
Newborns (0 to 3 months): 14 to 17 hours of sleep
Infants (4 to 11 months): 12 to 15 hours of sleep
Toddlers (1 to 2 years): 11 to 14 hours of sleep
Preschoolers (3 to 5 years): 10 to 13 hours of sleep
School-aged children (6 to 13 years): 9 to 11 hours of sleep
Teenagers (14 to 17 years): 8 to 10 hours of sleep
Young adults (18 to 25 years): 7 to 9 hours of sleep
Adults (26 to 64 years): 7 to 9 hours of sleep
Older adults (65 years or older): 7 to 8 hours of sleep