Best sleeping time for students How much sleep does a person need Children and Sleep Best sleeping time for adults

 How much sleep does a person need

WHY do we need sleep?
Sleep is important for a number of reasons. It restores our energy, fights off illness and fatigue by strengthening our immune system, helps us think more clearly and creatively, strengthens memory and produces a more positive mood and better performance throughout the day. Sleep isn't just a passive activity and something to fill the time when we are inactive, but rather it is an active and dynamic process vital for normal motor and cognitive function. 

HOW MUCH sleep do we need?
Most adults need somewhere between 6-10 hours of sleep per night. Different people need different amount of sleep to feel rested. If you are frequently tired or irritable during the day and find yourself sleeping more than an extra 2 hours per night on weekends, then you are probably not getting enough sleep during the week. Try for 7-8 hours and see how you feel.
The fact is, that some people may need more or less. The real question should be, WHEN are you getting your sleep.

Effect of Sleep Loss:
Sleeping is filled with mysteries even to this day. We don’t really know truly why we sleep exactly.
Lack of sleep is associated with both physical and emotional health risks. These include:
More illness, such as colds and flu, due to a lowered immune system
Feeling more stressed out
Increased weight gain and obesity
Lower GPA and decreased academic performance
Increased mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety
Increased automobile accidents due to fatigue caused by "drowsy driving"
Decreased performance in athletics and other activities that require coordination 

Physical Health Issues
Lack of sleep can cause many health issues, including death, and people are often not aware that they are at risk. Since sleep deprivation can impact the immune system function, our ability to fight off infections becomes more difficult and we are more prone to getting upper respiratory infections, such as cold and flu, and often feel "run down." That's because we are! Heart and lung function is adversely affected by lack of sleep and is associated with worsening chronic lung and heart disease and high blood pressure.

Lack of sleep has been linked to obesity. With sleep deprivation, there is an increase in the hormone, ghrelin, which is associated with hunger for high calorie foods. There is a decrease in the hormone leptin which reduces appetite. This leads to weight gain in many people. Lack of sleep impacts brain function, attention span, mood and reaction times. Excessive sleepiness is a leading cause of car and truck accidents, and research has demonstrated that many industrial accidents and disasters, such as nuclear power accidents, major oil spills and space shuttle disasters have been attributed to sleep deprived workers. 

Benefits of Sleep
During sleep, the brain organizes, sorts, and stores what we have learned and experienced that day, making it easier to recall at a later time.

Sleep also helps you weed out irrelevant information and helps you make connections between your memory and information you learned that day, even if you have not made those connections while awake.

If you study a little every day, you can use this natural process of sleep to gain a better understanding of the material and to retain the information more efficiently.

If you don't understand something you have read or you can't solve a problem, look it over and then sleep on it.

To sum up, to study better, more efficiently, and to increase the likelihood of learning and retaining information, get at least 6-8 hours of sleep before your exam.

Mental Health Issues
College students are often at risk for having mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, and researchers believe that lack of sleep is a factor. An assessment of your sleep by a mental health professional may be best if you exhibit one or more of the following symptoms. 

Insomnia (often sleeping 6 hours or less a night)
Too much sleep (often sleeping 10 hours or more a night or "escape sleeping")
Regularly feeling fatigue, constantly wishing you were sleeping or napping
Engaging in day to day responsibilities feels highly tiring or burdening 

Racing thoughts (very high paced) that prohibit settling into sleep
Recurrent and persistent thinking about 1-2 topics that prohibit settling into sleep
Repetitive behaviors that needed to manage anxiety that inhibits falling asleep
Pattern of stressful and anxiety-provoking thoughts that wake you up during sleep
Experiencing shortness of breath when attempting to fall or stay sleep (that can't be explained by a medical condition) 

Trouble enjoying activities within your relationships that are typically fun
Difficulty regularly listening to what your partner has to say
Pattern of being quick to get irritated or angry with your partner (increased fighting)
Regular quality of communication is reduced or more difficult

 Tips for get Sleep:
  • Decide what you need to change to get enough sleep to stay healthy, happy, and smart!
  • Naps can help pick you up and make you work more efficiently, if you plan them right. Naps that are too long or too close to bedtime can interfere with your regular sleep.
  • Make your room a sleep haven. Keep it cool, quiet and dark. If you need to, get eyeshades or blackout curtains. Let in bright light in the morning to signal your body to wake up.
  • No pills, vitamins or drinks can replace good sleep. Consuming caffeine close to bedtime can hurt your sleep, so avoid coffee, tea, soda/pop and chocolate late in the day so you can get to sleep at night. Nicotine and alcohol will also interfere with your sleep.
  • When you are sleep deprived, you are as impaired as driving with a blood alcohol content of .08%, which is illegal for drivers in many states. Drowsy driving causes over 100,000 crashes each year. Recognize sleep deprivation and call someone else for a ride. Only sleep can save you!
  • Establish a bed and wake-time and stick to it, coming as close as you can on the weekends. A consistent sleep schedule will help you feel less tired since it allows your body to get in sync with its natural patterns. You will find that it’s easier to fall asleep at bedtime with this type of routine.
  • Don’t eat, drink, or exercise within a few hours of your bedtime. Don’t leave your homework for the last minute. Try to avoid the TV, computer and telephone in the hour before you go to bed.
  • Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule including weekends. Sleeping more than 1-2 hours more on the weekend can wreak havoc on your circadian rhythms, so a regular wake schedule is important.
  • Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or hot tub and then reading a book or listening to soothing music.
  • Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable, and cool.
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  • Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex.
  • Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime.
  • Exercise regularly. It is best to complete your workout at least 2 hours before bedtime, as exercising before you sleep can leave your body too energized to relax.
  • Avoid caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolate) 3-4 hours before bedtime. It can keep you awake.
  • Avoid nicotine (e.g. cigarettes, tobacco products). Used close to bedtime, it can lead to poor sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol close to bedtime.
The amount of sleep you need depends on various factors — especially your age. Consider these general guidelines for different age groups:
Age group Recommended amount of sleep
Infants 9-10 hours at night, plus 3 or more hours of naps
Toddlers 9-10 hours at night, plus 2-3 hours of naps
School-age children 9-11 hours
Adults 7-8 hours

In addition to age, other factors can affect how many hours of sleep you need. For example:
Pregnancy. Changes in a woman's body during early pregnancy can increase the need for sleep.
Aging. Older adults need about the same amount of sleep as younger adults. As you get older, however, your sleeping patterns might change. Older adults tend to sleep more lightly and for shorter time spans than do younger adults. This might create a need for spending more time in bed to get enough sleep, or a tendency toward daytime napping.
Previous sleep deprivation. If you're sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.
Sleep quality. If your sleep is frequently interrupted or cut short, you're not getting quality sleep. The quality of your sleep is just as important as the quantity.

For newborns, sleep during the early months occurs around the clock and the sleep-wake cycle interacts with the need to be fed, changed and nurtured. Newborns sleep a total of 10.5 to 18 hours a day on an irregular schedule with periods of one to three hours spent awake. The sleep period may last a few minutes to several hours. During sleep, they are often active, twitching their arms and legs, smiling, sucking and generally appearing restless. Newborns express their need to sleep in different ways. Some fuss, cry, rub their eyes or indicate this need with individual gestures. It is best to put babies to bed when they are sleepy asleep. They are more likely to fall asleep quickly and eventually learn how to get themselves to sleep. Newborns can be encouraged to sleep less during the day by exposing them to light and noise, and by playing more with them in the daytime. As evening approaches, the environment can be quieter and dimmer with less activity. 

Sleep Tips for Newborns
  • Observe baby's sleep patterns and identify signs of sleepiness.
  • Put baby in the crib when drowsy, not asleep.
  • Place baby to sleep on his/her back with face and head clear of blankets and other soft items.
  • Encourage nighttime sleep.
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