How Much Sleep Do We Actually Need?


Sleeping is one of the most important things we do every day, and it’s as essential as eating and sleeping, and it can do wonders for your mental and physical health. Despite this, many of us are sleep deprived. In fact, about one-third of adults, according to the CDC, regularly receive as much sleep as they require per day. 

The question then is, how much sleep do we really need to get every day?

How Much Sleep Do You Need Daily?

In the same way that there is no universally correct way to handle many other elements of human biology, there are no correct answers to how long a person must sleep. Studies have shown that adults and healthy teenagers need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night.

However, things are not always as straightforward. Our daily sleep requirements also change as we age. For instance, toddlers require 11-15 hours of sleep every night, but newborns need 14-17.

How Can You Sleep Better?

Practicing healthy sleep habits can help you improve the quality of your sleep. Ensure your bedroom is devoid of electronic gadgets like televisions, smartphones, and computers when you’re trying to sleep; avoid heavy meals, coffee, and alcohol in the hours leading up to bedtime; and stick to a regular rest period and wake time, even on the weekends.

Can Sleep Deprivation Affect Your Health?

Lack of sleep has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and kidney disease, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Sleep deprivation may also heighten the likelihood of you getting an injury.

On the other hand, it may be unhealthy to sleep too much. One study indicated that sleeping more than 8 hours every night raised the chance of acquiring type 2 diabetes significantly more than sleeping less than 8 hours a night.

In addition, there is mounting evidence that lack of sleep can increase the likelihood of you adding on weight, according to recent studies.

For instance, a meta-analysis of thirty studies linked sleep deprivation to increased weight gain in children and adults. Another study indicated that nurses who slept for 5 hours or less per night were more likely to be overweight than their counterparts who averaged 7 hours of shut-eye every night.

Possible explanations for this correlation include brain chemical changes in response to the stress that stimulates unhealthy food cravings. Meanwhile, research has connected sleep deprivation to emotional eating and weight management issues.