Free Shipping UK, IE
£30 off over £400 code: BD30
Warranty Up to 10 Years

How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

12 August 2022

Making the time to get a full night’s rest is essential. But, why is that?

Whilst we sleep, our body isn’t simply switching off. It remains extremely active as it recovers and rebuilds muscles that have been used throughout the day. Sleep also impacts our brains by removing negative toxins that build up during our waking hours, as well as forming important processes to help with how we retain memories.

Sleep also helps regulate our emotions. Losing sleep for a single night can make us up to 60% more responsive to negative feelings, i.e. the more tired we are, the more prone to negativity we get.

Studies have also found that a lack of sleep also affects the way in which our body regulates basic, but essential, functions such as our appetites, metabolism and immune system as well as influencing our body weight!

You could come to the conclusion that a proper night's sleep is helping you lose weight. This is because our ‘body clock’ is based upon a 24-hour cycle of rest and sleep. If that cycle is broken, then other natural body cycles also start to go off the rails.

However, it isn’t just a lack of sleep that can cause your body clock to get out of sync. Things such as irregular sleeping patterns and stimuli, i.e., sleeping at odd times during the day and being exposed to strong lights during the night can also interrupt your clock.

Lastly, simply sleeping for those prescribed hours each day isn’t necessarily enough either.

Sorry about that!

Quality of sleep is also very important to maintain health. A restless night with the kids or having a poor night’s sleep after a party isn’t going to cut it, even if you do manage your allotted time.

Studies have also found that not getting enough sleep can lead to some rather serious health problems such as obesity and heart disease. Failure to sleep also means not getting rid of those brain toxins mentioned earlier - a build-up of these toxins can lead to a heightened risk of Alzheimer’s.

How Much Sleep Should we be Getting?

Well, like all medical advice, it depends on the individual themselves. However, the most significant factor is our age. The general rule of thumb is that the younger you are, the more you should be sleeping.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent recommends the following:

0-3 months: 14-17 hours

4-12 months: 12-16 hours

1-2 years: 11-14 hours

3-5 years: 10-13 hours

6-12 years: 9-12 hours

13-18 years: 8-10 hours

18-60 years: 7 or more

61-64: 7-9 hours

65+: - 7-8 hours

Well, that all seems pretty straightforward?

But the recommendations also depend on your genetic makeup. Surveys have shown that some mutations in our genes can affect how long we need to sleep, how responsive we are to a lack of sleep, as well as what time of day we prefer to sleep.

Your genetics are obviously not changeable, and there isn’t a simple way of knowing what genetic mutations you have to judge how much you should sleep.

The only way to know is to pay attention to how you feel after sleeping, and try something different if you aren’t waking up feeling refreshed.

Getting Better Sleep

Now that we’ve talked about why you need to sleep and how much you should be sleeping, let’s get to perhaps the biggest challenge of them all – actually getting that much-needed sleep!

Here are a few tips you can try to improve your quality of sleep:

Stick to a schedule – regulating your sleep time helps to regulate your internal clock. Hence, you will find yourself becoming naturally tired when the evening gets to that point.

Bedtime routines – having a routine that you can do before going to sleep (that isn’t staring at a screen) helps to wind down your body and mind. Doing this will encourage your body to naturally fall asleep. Listening to music or other calming noises are some good options to consider.

Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol – Put simply, they’re a no-no. Avoid all three in the afternoon and evening if getting a good night’s rest is your priority.

Be active – increased activity during the day, i.e. proper exercise, will help improve sleep quality.

Your environment – sleeping in an environment that is conducive to a good night’s rest is perhaps one of the most important parts of sleep quality. Your room should be dark, quiet and comfortable. Temperature control is another vital factor as being too hot or cold will damage the quality of your sleep.

Closing Thoughts

So, where does that leave us? The be-all and end-all is that sleep matters significantly - and the quality of your sleep matters just as much.

You will know when you’ve got the balance right as you will wake up feeling ready to take on the day. If it is a drag to get up in the morning (and you’ve not been out drinking the night before) then you need to look into changing up your routines.