Sleep is so important for our health, yet so many of us rarely get the sleep that we need each night to promote our well-being. Many of us allow stimulants such as alcohol, tea or coffee to interrupt our sleep patterns or screens to disrupt our natural circadian levels. We pay little attention to the amount of sleep that we actually need, perhaps because we have forgotten how good it actually feels to be well rested. The amount of sleep that we need varies across the ages and across the amounts of activity that we are involved in. Take a look at our guide to how much sleep a person needs and see if you should be aiming for more.
Sleep Time Recommendations: What’s Changed?
What is important is to pay attention to what feels good for you. If you can wake up after 7 hours of sleep feeling amazing, that’s great, lucky you. So long as this can get you through the day without you having to rely on caffeine, keep going. If you don’t, however, try getting more and then assessing how you feel after that. It is normal to need anything from 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
Signs that you’re not getting enough sleep
When trying to assess whether the amount of sleep you are getting is enough, it is important to look for signs of tiredness. These could be obvious such as the need to have caffeinated drinks to help you get through the day or moodiness or irritability. other signs could be hunger because lack of sleep alters hormonal levels which can lead to us feeling hungry when we’re not. Why not read our article looking at how much sleep is too much for more information?
The importance of deep sleep and REM sleep
Of course, the duration of your sleep is important but it is not just that that determines how refreshed you will feel, the quality of sleep plays a part too. You need to have patterns of deep sleep and REM during your rest periods to really achieve restorative sleep. Try thinking about the comfort of your mattress. If this isn’t supporting you in your favoured sleeping position it could be preventing you from getting the quality sleep that you need. Take a look at the best mattress of 2019, see if it’s time for a change.
The effects of sleep deprivation
Sleep deprivation isn’t pretty. It can lead to concentration and memory problems, making it difficult for you to be productive. It can also really affect your moods, making it difficult to maintain relationships. Sleep deprivation can have a huge impact on your life. Check out the detrimental effects of lack of sleep online.
How to get the sleep that you need
Try having a regular sleep schedule, this can help get your body into a rhythm where it knows what is expected of it. You should also cut out caffeine, at least in the afternoons so that it is not in your system when you try to sleep. You should also try to have a wind-down time before bed. Switch off screens and try listening to some relaxing music, many find it beneficial when it comes to helping them fall asleep quicker.