How Many Hours of Sleep Do You Need to Reduce Your Daytime Fatigue?
Sleep is a basic human need but surprisingly enough none of us take it that seriously. Living your day to day life with a lack of sleep can cause sleep deprivation, lack of concentration and weight gain amongst other things. So the first step is to understand is how many hours of sleep a night we need and are if there are any tips or tricks to improve our quality of sleep.
‘I Haven’t Got Time to Sleep’
Growing up usually means gaining more responsibilities which is just a part of life, unfortunately. How many hours of sleep we get tends to depend on how much work we have got to do. The busier our schedule gets, the more we begin to ignore our body’s needs such as eating healthily, exercising and sleeping sufficiently. When you are in a demanding job, you will find yourself sleeping less because you just have so much work to do that you can’t afford to sleep, this is dangerous for both you and your work.
Sleep allows our brain to store data correctly and revive ourselves so that when we wake up we feel re-energized. Without the correct amount of sleep, you’ll find that you are tired, eating more (usually unhealthy food) for energy, becoming increasingly forgetful and less productive. So depriving yourself from sleep due to work demands will, in most cases, have a negative impact on your performance.
How Much Sleep Do I Need?
Sleep is not a one size fits all, it depends on various things such as your lifestyle, your genes and your age. On average, adults sleep less than 7 hours per night and many of us feel like 7 hours is sufficient, according to numerous studies, the average adult should aim for 7.5 to 9 hours sleep every night. Here’s a guide to how much sleep each person in your family needs depending on their age bracket.
This table is only a brief guide to how much sleep you need but to be sure you need to access your own needs. If you wake up in the morning and find that you are still quite tired and need caffeine to keep you alert throughout the day, then you need more sleep. Some people can happily survive on as little as 6 hours of sleep per night however this is caused due to a rare gene which only 3% of the population have. The other 97% of us require up to 9 hours of sleep per night to feel the full benefits.
Am I Sleep Deprived?
Sleep deprivation is a serious condition and should not be taken lightly. Suffering from sleep deprivation not only leaves you feeling tired but a whole host of other side effects including:
- Lack of Motivation
- Mood Swings
- Increased Stress Levels
- Frequent Colds and Infections
- Weight Gain
- Risk of Accidents ( Sleep deprivation can have the same affect on our bodies as being drunk!)
- Increased Risk of Diabetes and Heart Disease
- Reduced Creativity
And the list goes on. So if you feel that you suffer from sleep deprivation then don’t just accept it, change it. By including an extra hour of sleep every night into your routine will make a noticeable difference straight away. If you are sleeping the recommended 7.5 – 9 hours per night but find you are still drowsy throughout the day then maybe it’s not your quantity of sleep that’s to blame, but the quality of your sleep.
3 Ways to Improve Your Quality of Sleep
Sleeping for the recommended time for your age sometimes isn’t enough so it’s time to think outside the box and ask yourself what is disrupting your sleep and are there any quick solutions.
1. Upgrade Your Sleeping Surface
Many people find that their number one problem source is their sleeping surface. There’s a wide range of mattresses on the market that are designed to improve your quality of sleep but the best choice has got to be Memory Foam Mattresses.
Memory Foam reduces tossing and turning by up to 70%, it has a shock absorbent material which means that when your partner moves, you will not be woken. The visco-elastic material moulds to your body shape, relieving any pressure points allowing you to fall into a deep, undisturbed sleep. To find out more about the benefits of sleeping on Memory Foam click here.
2. Change Your Eating and Drinking Habits
Another area to look at when accessing your quality of sleep is what you are eating and drinking towards bedtime. Drinking alcohol may make you feel tired at first but after a couple of hours, you’ll notice that you are constantly waking up and only having a light sleep. Caffeine and spicy foods are other big no-no’s before bed.
It’s been noted that you should avoid eating at least 3 hours before you go to bed. However, with busy schedules, this isn’t always possible so instead try swapping large meals for lighter meals. You may opt to choose to eat your biggest meal at lunch time and a light bite for tea, this is because fatty foods contain more energy which keep you awake and take longer to digest.
3. Reduce Your Electronic Use
We’ve heard it a million times but reducing your lack of electronic use close to bedtime will dramatically improve your quality of sleep. The light from these devices will keep you awake and always alert, whether we like to believe it or not. Try keeping your bedroom electronic free or if you find that too challenging, try to avoid using them up to an hour before bedtime. This will allow your brain to shut off and relax before going to sleep.
If you would like any more advice regarding Sleep Tips, Health and Well-Being or other Sleep related topics then follow the Hello Healthiness Blog for regular posts.