Optimal sleep time depends on age

Lack or excess sleep greatly affects physical and psychological well-being. Sleep is an integral part of healthy longevity. During this time, the body restores energy reserves, produces important hormones, and regenerates tissue. But how many hours of sleep do we really need to get all these benefits? The answer is simple: it all depends on our age. 

That's the opinion of researchers at the University of California, San Francisco. They believe that the optimal duration of sleep for each age group should be different. In addition, experts warn that people who sleep less than six hours a night are four times more likely to catch a cold when exposed to a virus compared to those who spend seven or more hours of sleep.

Researchers at the Institute for Population Health Research at McMaster University in Ontario show in their work that sleep time has an effect on the cardiovascular system, namely blood pressure (BP). Scientists note that sleeping 6-8 hours per night is the most beneficial for the heart. It is important to note, however, that waking up late is usually associated with higher BP values. Thus, waking up early has more health benefits. 

Experts from the U.S. National Sleep Foundation believe that sleep duration varies greatly over the course of a lifetime.  They give the following recommendations:

  • Newborns (0 - 3 months): 14 to 17 hours of sleep per night.
  • Infants (4 - 11 months): 12 to 15 hours of sleep per night.
  • Infants (12 months to 2 years): 11 to 14 hours of sleep per night.
  • Preschool children (3 years to 5 years): 10 to 13 hours of sleep a night.
  • School-age children (6 to 13 years old): 9 to 11 hours of sleep a night.
  • Adolescents (14 to 17 years old): 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night.
  • Young adults (18 - 25 years old): 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.
  • Young adults and adults (26 - 65 years old): 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.
  • Older adults (over 65 years of age): 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night.

Following general recommendations regarding sleep can help your body recover most effectively after an active day's work, as well as have a positive effect on your overall health.

March 18, 2021, 10:30 a.m.

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