Science & Health

Sleeping Durations Changed How We Think About Death

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Sleeping Durations Changed How We Think About Death

Experts found that getting your sleep hours habitually wrong could increase your risk of heart failure and bring about a failed marriage.
2 ladies imitating their sleeping positions

In the United States, an 18-member multidisciplinary expert panel representing 12 leading research organizations led by the National Science Foundation, convened at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.

Over nine months of discussions and research, the participants comprising experts from different disciplines released new recommendations for sleep durations. Contrary to the common idea that 8 hours of daily sleep are enough, their findings show that sleep duration requirements differ as people age through life.

Why does it matter so much? According to studies, too little or too much sleep may increase the risk of early death and introduce a range of health problems such as cardiometabolic risk, so getting the right amount of sleep is essential.

Here is a table showing the expert panel’s findings and methodology in full.

Age Recommended May Be Appropriate Not Recommended
Newborns (0 to 3 Months)
14 to 17 Hours
11 - 13 Hours to 18 - 19 Hours
Less Than 11, More Than 19 Hours
Infants (04 to 11 Months)
12 to 15 Hours
10 - 11 Hours to 16 - 18 Hours
Less Than 10, More Than 18 Hours
Toddlers (01 to 02 Years)
11 to 14 Hours
9 - 10 Hours to 15 - 16 Hours
Less Than 9, More Than 16 Hours
Preschoolers (03 to 05 Years)
10 to 13 Hours
8 - 9 Hours to 14 Hours
Less Than 8, More Than 14 Hours
School-Aged Children (06 to 13 Years)
9 to 11 Hours
7 - 8 Hours to 12 Hours
Less Than 7, More Than 12 Hours
Teenagers (14 to 17 Years)
8 to 10 Hours
7 Hours to 11 Hours
Less Than 7, More Than 11 Hours
Young Adults (18 to 25 Years)
7 to 9 Hours
6 Hours to 10 - 11 Hours
Less Than 6, More Than 11 Hours
Adults (26 to 64 Years)
7 to 9 Hours
6 Hours to 10 Hours
Less Than 6, More Than 10 Hours
Seniors (Above 65 Years)
7 to 8 Hours
5 - 6 Hours to 9 Hours
Less Than 5, More Than 9 Hours

Apart from getting the right amount of sleep, other factors such as having a high-quality mattress to sleep on, sleeping in the best posture possible, and even exercise can all contribute to your health and well-being. 

Based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), signs that you’ve had poor sleep quality include not feeling well-rested after getting enough sleep, waking up repeatedly through the night, or experiencing symptoms related to sleep disorders

But improving sleep quality can be helped by picking up good habits. Here are some sleep hygiene tips:

  • Be consistent with the times you go to bed at night and wake up in the mornings, including the weekends.
  • Make sure that your sleep environment is quiet, dark, and relaxing. Your bedroom should be at a pleasant and comfortable temperature too.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol, caffeine, large meals, and smoking before bedtime.
  • Get out and do some daily exercise. Being physically active can help you fall asleep at night.
  • Limit exposure to electronic devices, especially those that emit blue light, 30 minutes before bedtime.


What is the Best Time to Sleep?

In an ideal world, the best sleeping hours are for people to go to bed early and wake up in the mornings; this pattern known as the circadian rhythm matches our biological tendencies and adapts carefully to the amount of exposure we get from sunlight or lack thereof. 

However, that doesn’t always happen when work puts us in irregular shifts. People who tend to do shift work take a lot of effort trying to stay awake during labor, which often impedes them from getting holistic rest.

A poll by the National Sleep Foundation also found that most shift workers suffer from something called the “circadian rhythm sleep disorder,” were likely to sleep fewer than six hours on workdays and even experienced driving when drowsy at least once a month over a year.


How to get a good sleep in the time of the pandemic?

The Corona Virus, also known as Covid-19, has affected many of us across the world. While we go through high levels of stress and anxiety, which often causes poor health, we must keep regular sleep schedules to prevent circadian rhythm changes. More than ever, we need to keep up with the restorative power of sleep.

We can take this situation and turn it into an opportunity to see how daily activities can impact our sleep health. Follow useful sleep hygiene tips and be mindful of your sleeping habits. You can use a sleep tracker to monitor your sleep and determine how much sleep you need to wake up energized; you may also keep a journal for two weeks and note the times you went to bed, times you woke up, and how you felt each morning after waking up.

If stress from COVID-19 affects your sleep, the National Sleep Foundation has ten tips on how to get a better night’s sleep.

Stay healthy, and stay safe, everyone!

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