You have probably read and heard about how important sleep is. In case you are still wondering why sleep is important, we will put it into simple words – during sleep our body is regenerated. During the night, our body switches into a different “work mode” where functions that are working on restoration of every body part are dominant. For example, during sleep we digest food much slower but what we consumed during the day slowly comes to its final destination. Muscles that were used during training sessions or any other everyday physical activities have a chance to relax and grow and be prepared for their next assignments. This is also the period when the liver takes a break from the hard work during the day while the heart and lungs work much slower in order to save their capacity for the demands placed on them by day time. In other words – we grow and renew ourselves. We can say that sleep is more than a simple rest – this is a period of general growth and regeneration. 

 

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

 

Now that we have determined why sleep is important, let’s see how much sleep we really need. 

 

First of all, you should know that your body is “programmed” to feel sleepy twice a day. The first period is the period we usually respond to the sleepiness – between midnight and 7 AM. The second period is usually happening between 1 PM and 4 PM – the period when we are usually at work or at school.

 

The answer to the question how much sleep do you need also depends on your age. For example, children need around 13 hours of sleep. This is not a precise number because children at different ages have different needs. This is quite logical because this is the period of rapid growth and development of children at pre-school age. Young people up to age 18 need around 9 hours of sleep, while adults generally need somewhere between seven and nine hours. Most of the elderly people think that poor sleep is a result of the process of aging, but that’s wrong. Short and poor quality sleep is not an occurrence that accompanies the process of aging. It is usually a result of some sleep disorders or their lifestyle. Of course, most older people have shallow sleep and they wake up even when they hear the smallest sounds around them. They often have problems with the heart, prostate or kidneys which lead to poor quality sleep as well.

 

Some people believe that they were dreaming all night while others think they are not dreaming at all. The truth is that around 20% of the time when we sleep, we are dreaming.  The real significance of dreaming is still unknown. One thing is for sure – people have poor sleep when they are under stress. This is when nightmares start to occur. So try to relax and destress before going to sleep, as you will have a better night's sleep and feel more rested in the morning.