Sleep deprivation is a serious issue that many people face on a regular basis. How much sleep do you need? Can you really "catch up" on sleep? What is the deal with sleep debt? We'll answer these questions and more in this blog post about how to get better sleep for extremely busy people!
How much sleep do you need?
Every person has a different sleep requirement, but the general consensus is that most adults need somewhere between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. This varies from one individual to another based on age, health status, type of bed or mattress, etc., but there are some universal guidelines for healthy sleeping habits. Let's go over how much sleep you should ideally get according to age.
For children, the National Sleep Foundation recommends 11-13 hours of sleep per day for kids between six and 13 years old. However, this isn't a hard recommendation, so if your child is happy and healthy with less than that then there's no need to worry about it.
For teens, the National Sleep Foundation recommends eight to ten hours of sleep per night. This will vary from one teen to another based on their individual needs, but this is a healthy recommendation for most adolescents.
As for adults, the National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of sleep per night. This is a healthy amount for most adults, but again this will vary from one individual to another depending on their needs and health status.
For pregnant women, it's important that they get at least eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night in order for both mom and baby to stay healthy.
When you're sleeping, your brain goes through a sleep cycle that lasts about 90 minutes on average.
As long as the person is getting between seven and nine hours of sleep each night (which is recommended by both the National Sleep Foundation and Centers for Disease Control), they should have an appropriate amount of REM cycles to do their body good.
However, if you're sleep deprived and need to catch up on your rest (say you've only been getting five hours of shuteye each night for an extended period), it's not recommended that you attempt to make up the deficit in a day or two by oversleeping.
That's because sleeping more than nine hours can actually cause your brain to go into REM sleep cycles too quickly, and this is believed to may lead to an increase in feelings of exhaustion, irritability and impaired cognitive function.
Additionally, oversleeping may even be a contributing factor in the serious and sometimes fatal condition called sleep apnea.
There are many other methods of catching up on lost sleep that don't come with such drawbacks, including using caffeine to stay awake (which can result in rebound effects like daytime drowsiness), or taking short naps during the day, which are especially helpful for people who have severe sleep apnea.
If you're dealing with extreme fatigue or other symptoms that may be attributable to a potential medical condition like chronic insomnia (which can lead to depression and weight gain), then it's important to talk with your doctor about how best to proceed.
Sleeping well isn't just about how many hours you get every day; it's also important that those hours are of high quality.
This means that your sleep should be uninterrupted and restful, with no disruptions from light sources or other outside stimuli such as noise pollution.
What is sleep debt, and how does it work?
Sleep debt refers to the cumulative effect of not getting enough sleep.
It builds up over time, and if you're chronically running a deficit in your daily hours for restful slumber, then this could be the cause of your insomnia or other related symptoms.
If you want to know how many sleep cycles should go through on average per night, then the answer is about five to six.
Is quality sleep more important than quantity?
The verdict is still out on this question; some experts believe that it's vital for health that you get a full eight hours of uninterrupted rest every day, while others maintain that seven or even less can be enough as long as it's high-quality, deep sleep.
Tips for getting better sleep if you're an extremely busy person:
Stick to a routine that involves going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.
Turn off electronics before you go to bed so they don't emit light (which can disrupt your circadian rhythm).
Keep your room as cool and dark as possible.
Use a sleep mask to block out light that might be coming in through the window or from electronic devices like laptops, tablets, TVs.
How long should you nap during the day if a nap is needed?
Naps during the day should only last about 15 minutes, so that you can enjoy the full benefits of deep sleep
The best ways to make up sleep debt:
Eating a ketogenic diet that's low in carbs and sugar
What are the benefits of going to bed early?
Going to bed early will allow your body enough time for plenty of deep sleep cycles, giving you more energy during the day. It reduces stress levels, helps you feel calmer overall.
What are the risks of going to bed early?
You might not have enough time for social interactions with friends and family. It can be hard if you're a night owl, or someone who's used to staying up late into the wee hours.
What are the risks involved in not getting enough sleep?
You're more likely to be overweight
Your brain can't think as clearly, and you may experience mood swings. This is because your body has been deprived of the rest it needs. It's also linked with depression, ADHD, and diabetes.
When it comes to good sleeping habits you should take it seriously. A good night's sleep doesn't only allow you to feel awake and alert in the morning but can actually help keep your immune system from depleting. We hope that the information and tips in this article can help you recover from your sleep debt and get you back on track to a happy healthy sleep schedule.