How many hours of sleep do you really need?

Sponsored content: The number needed for optimum health may surprise you.

Sleep is essential because it powers the mind and restores the body. But how many hours of sleep do we really need? 

This depends on an array of factors from your age to your activity level, sleeping pattern and overall health.

How many hours of sleep are recommended? 

Adequate sleep is essential for your health and emotional vitality. The Sleep Health Foundation recommends 7-9 hours each night to remain healthy. 

How many hours do you need? 

Northwestern University’s Sleep Disorders Centre Director Dr Phyllis C. Zee said it was important to consider the amount of sleep appropriate for your circumstances.

“Too few hours of sleep or poor sleep could pave the way to a myriad of emotional and physical problems,” Dr Zee said. 

To work out how much sleep you need each night, consider your overall health, daily activities and existing sleeping patterns. Ask yourself:

  • Do you feel productive on 7-9 hours of sleep?
  • Do you have any existing health concerns?
  • Do you require a high level of energy in your occupation?
  • Do your daily activities require alertness to be completed safely?
  • Are you experiencing any sleeping issues?
  • Do you need caffeine to get through the day?
  • Do you sleep in on the weekend?

How to improve your sleep

Once you have a nightly sleep goal, it’s time to turn your dreams into a reality. 

Look at methods to improve your sleep hygiene by giving your bedroom and habits a makeover:

  • Stick to a 7-day sleep schedule. 
  • Minimise disruptions from light, noise and temperature 30 minutes before bed.
  • Practise a relaxing bedtime routine. 
  • Ensure you have a supportive mattress, appropriate pillows and bedding.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol a few hours before bed.

Getting the right amount of quality sleep is important and improving your sleep hygiene can often help. 

Afterall, it’s not about every waking hour, it’s about every sleeping hour and it’s amazing what a little Snooze can do.

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