How Much Sleep Is Enough

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How Much Sleep Is Enough
Graphic: © Image source – Pixabay (PD).

Sleep is more than just a time when our body and mind shut down. It’s an active period of restoration, consolidation of memory, and strengthening. But what’s the risk of sacrificing a few hours every night to catch up on your favorite show or work late at night? Consider the following adverse effects of sleep deprivation:

⦁ Heart Disease and Stroke: According to a study published in the European Heart Journal, sleep duration is a significant predictor of cardiovascular outcomes. [1] Less than 7 hours of sleep every night increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

⦁ Risk of Early Death: A 2010 meta-analysis claimed that inadequate sleep is associated with early death. [2]

⦁ Diabetes: Sleep below and above the recommended duration increases the risk of diabetes. [3]

⦁ Decline in Cognitive Function: According to a recent study, not getting enough sleep over a prolonged period leads to “impaired reasoning, problem-solving, and communication skills.” [4]

Recommended Sleeping Hours by Age Group

Different age groups have different health and lifestyle requirements – and this, in turn, affects an individual’s sleep needs. Consider these general guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation: [5]

⦁ Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours

⦁ Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours

⦁ Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours

⦁ Pre-schoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours

⦁ School-age children (6-13): 9-11 hours

⦁ Teenagers (14-17):  8-10 hours

⦁ Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours

⦁ Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours

⦁ Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours

Final Remarks
To improve your health, it’s about time you start paying attention to your sleep patterns and make sleep a daily priority. You can even add sleep to your to-do list or your mandatory daily schedule. PS: Having “enough” sleep is not about being sleep deprived and compensating by logging many hours. Healthy sleep habits involve consistent routines to meet our sleep needs daily.

Related:  Studies In Recent Years Have Identified A Relationship Between Lack Of Sleep And Cancer Development

Please note that this content should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.


[1] Cappuccio, F. P. et al. 2011. Sleep duration predicts cardiovascular outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies.

[2] Cappuccio, F. P. et al. 2010. Sleep Duration and All-Cause Mortality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies

[3] Gottlieb, D. J. et al. 2005. Association of Sleep Time With Diabetes Mellitus and Impaired Glucose Tolerance

[4] Wild, C. J. et al. 2018. Dissociable effects of self-reported daily sleep duration on high-level cognitive abilities

[5] Hirshkowitz, M. et al. 2015. National Sleep Foundation’s sleep time duration recommendations: methodology and results summary

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How Much Sleep Is Enough
Graphic © Image source – Pixabay (PD).

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