How much sleep does a person need in a day? It appears as though 8 hours a night is the common number most of us think we need in order to get a restful sleep. To get a bit more specific, the Sleep Foundation suggests the following in terms of how much sleep one might need.
Babies – 12 – 18 hrs
Infants (3 – 11 mos.) – 14 – 15 hrs
Toddlers (1 – 3 yrs) – 12 – 14 hrs
Preschoolers (3 – 5 yrs) – 11 – 13 hrs
School Age Kids (5 – 10 yrs) – 10 – 11 hrs
Teens (11 – 17) – 8.5 – 9.5 hrs
Adults (18+) – 7 – 9 hrs
But the amount of sleep you might need can also be individual. Some people may only need 6 or 7 hours while others need more. I believe that the amount of sleep and rest you need can also be a factor to your diet and level of overall health. It can also be a factor of how well you are sleeping or what types of sleep patterns you are using. If you are interested, you can check out more on sleep patterns and more on how long you should be napping for if you are a napper.
So let’s get to it, what happens to us when we don’t get enough sleep? Check out the infographic below.
Based on this research the reality is if you don’t get enough sleep you can see some serious issues over time. Not getting enough sleep can affect a number of your genes and biological functions in a way that isn’t a positive reinforcement for good health. If you are the type who is getting less than 8 hours, try getting a couple more hours and see if you notice a difference over 1 or 2 weeks. Maybe it won’t work out for you as you may be a DEC2 gene person, also known as a short sleeper. People with this gene only need about 4 hours of sleep per day.
Personally I feel there is more to the story here simply because I believe a lot in human potential and our ability to go beyond “the norm” based on changing consciousness around various things. But, we don’t have much scientific evidence to go with this so the best thing to do is grab the sleep you need and experiment with what works best for you.