What is the importance of enough sleep? Or, better still, which of these is a bigger priority? Oxygen, food, water or sleep?
The correct answer is none; all are equally important. Sleep is likely to appear as the least important than say, oxygen, but this is not true. However, it is prudent to know that lack of sleep for 11 days (264 hours) can cause death. Again, few people know that humans spend a third of their lives asleep. In a nutshell, enough sleep is as critical as oxygen, water and food.
How much sleep is enough?
Sleep is not just sleep; rather, sleep should be comfortable, warm, and long enough. Lack of enough sleep is likely to impact negatively on the human body. The duration of sleep required differs with age as shown below:
0-3 months : 14 to 17 hours
4-11 months : 12 to 15 hours
1-2 years : 11 to 14 hours
3-5 years : 10 to 13 hours
Teenagers : 8 to 10 hours
18-25 years : 7 to 9 hours
26-64 : 7 to 9 hours
65 years and over: 7 to 8 hours
How to Sleep Better
- Have a constant sleeping schedule all week
- Exercise on a daily basis
- Turn off all electronics
- Make the bedroom as comfortable as possible
- Avoid caffeine before bed
- Buy a comfortable bed
- Sleep in the dark
Health Benefits of Enough Sleep
- People that live longer share enough sleep as a common factor.
- Catching enough sleep is known to improve memory because the brain has time to “store” information “recorded” during sleep.
- Sleeping enough ensures the mind is alert because the brain has enough rest. If this is not the case, drowsiness and loss of attention occurs.
- During sleep, metabolism slows down and happens at an optimum pace. This benefits the body in that nutrients are absorbed better, and waste is removed. This results in better weight management.
- Sleeping allows the mind to Thus, it relieves or lowers stress. Stress may occur due to over-thinking or strain in the thinking process. Resting through sleep reverses these effects.
- Finally, and tastier is the fact that sleeping increases creativity! By taking a problem to bed, the chances are that you rise with a potential solution because the brain works better as the body rests.