Healthy Monday: How Much Sleep does our Bodies Really Need? Check out the National Sleep Foundation’s Recommendations!

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Healthy Monday: How Much Sleep does our Bodies Really Need? Check out the National Sleep Foundation’s Recommendations!

“Healthy Monday is our way of kicking off the week with useful health tips, information or news put together by our team of Health Consultants.”

The exact amount of sleep required by our bodies based on age groups has been quite a debate for some time. While some people feel adequately rested after six hours of sleep, others need a solid eight to nine hours to be at their best. That being said, we can almost concur that how much sleep we prefer to enjoy is quite subjective, but how much sleep our body really needs should be a definite number or range.

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A panel of six sleep experts and 12 other medical experts from organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Geriatrics Society, the American Psychiatric Association and the Society for Research in Human Development, recently conducted a formal literature review that focused on the body of research surrounding sleep duration in healthy human subjects that had been previously published in peer-reviewed journals between 2004 and 2014. From the 312 articles reviewed, the experts were able to provide updates to existing sleep duration recommendations as detailed below:

Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours (range narrowed from 12-18)
Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours (range widened from 14-15)
Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours (range widened from 12-14)
Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours (range widened from 11-13)
School-Age Children (6-13): 9-11 hours (range widened from 10-11)
Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours (range widened from 8.5-9.5)
Young Adults (18-25): 7-9 hours (new age category)
Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours (no change)
Older Adults (65+): 7-8 hours (new age category)

“This is the first time that any professional organization has developed age-specific recommended sleep durations based on a rigorous, systematic review of the world scientific literature relating sleep duration to health, performance and safety,” Charles A. Czeisler, Ph.D., M.D., professor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School and chairman of the board of the National Sleep Foundation, said in a statement.

Max Hirshkowitz, Ph.D., chair of the National Sleep Foundation Scientific Advisory Council said the process of coming up with these updated sleep requirements is not an exact science, but it’s a start.

“Like with most things, it’s successive approximation that gets you to the goal. The first time somebody built a wristwatch, it wasn’t very good, but after hundreds of years of making precise changes, to have a timepiece that doesn’t tell time is pretty unusual.”

As the number of sleep-related researches continue to increase, so also will subsequent minor changes be made around recommended sleep duration, in order to help experts to zero in on the absolute best recommendations to give to patients, according to Hirshkowitz.

With these recommended sleep hours been stated, if you think you’re currently getting enough sleep and feel pretty good, then our advise to you is to keep this up. However, if you’re meeting your age group’s recommended sleep duration range and waking up tired and feeling sluggish throughout the day, then this may be a warning sign of other problems that may or may not be sleep-related and you should probably address this as soon as possible with a healthcare professional.

Have a healthy week!

Photo Credit: Alamy

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