How Much Sleep Do We Need – Sleep is essential for helping us maintain our health and well-being. We spend one-third of our lives sleeping. It’s a complex process that we still don’t fully understand. Most of us try to get a good night’s sleep every night. Are we successful? Not always.
We work long hours and deal with daily stress. It’s not surprising that we don’t get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation disrupts our natural circadian rhythm. So do stimulants like energy drinks and caffeinated beverages. This prevents us from going into NREM and deep REM sleep.
Why are deep sleep and REM sleep important, anyway?
When we sleep, there are two main phases that we experience. The first one is non-REM sleep, which has three stages. Stage one is when you transition from waking to sleeping.
The second stage is when body temperature drops and breathing slows. This prepares you for the third stage, slow-wave sleep, or deep sleep. There used to be a fourth stage but experts have re-classified this as part of the third, deep sleep stage. After this you finally reach REM sleep. It is during REM sleep that dreams occur. During REM sleep your body undergoes rest and recuperation from illness and injury. So how much sleep do people need to feel energized and healthy?  . Let’s find out exactly how much sleep you do need.
Why Is Sleep Necessary?
Before we discuss how much sleep do people need, let’s talk about why sleep is necessary.
Sleep is when our body and mind rest. But it’s also the time when physical restoration happens inside the body.
During sleep the body is works hard to repair muscles and remove plaques from the walls of our veins.
These processes are critical to our health. They ensure both our mind and body are working the next day.
A good night’s sleep also removes waste in the brain.
Our minds need sleep to process and respond to the day’s events.
This is the time we make memories.
Sleep is critical for functions like your immune system, appetite regulation, and metabolism.
Sleep is vital to control of your sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm, which tells your body when to sleep and when to wake. 
How Much Sleep Do People Need?
The National Sleep Foundation has guidelines on how much sleep you should get each night.
To get a good night’s rest, the National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of sleep for adults.
The number of hours can change depending on the age group. Many teenagers do not get enough rest.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends teenagers get eight to 10 hours of sleep every night.
So how much sleep do you need?
Here’s the recommended number of hours for each age group:
- Newborns – The recommended number of hours of sleep for newborns is 14 to 17 hours per day.
- Infants –Infants should get 12 to 15 hours of sleep.
- Toddlers – Your toddler must be able to sleep for 11 to 14 hours every day.
- Preschool – Make sure that your preschool is asleep for 10 to 13 hours a day.
- School age – School-aged children should get 9 to 11 hours.
- Teens – For teenagers, 8 to 10 hours of sleep to feel energized and revitalized.
- Young adults to adults – During these age brackets, 7 to 9 hours of sleep is great.
- Older adults – Older people may have a harder time falling asleep since their sleep habits change over time. Still, they need to have at least 7 to 8 hours of rest time. 
How Much Sleep Do I Need?
It’s the reason you’re reading this article.
How much sleep do you need?
Most of us assume that sleeping for seven to nine hours every day is going to be enough.
But not everyone’s sleep cycle is the same.
Lots of factors can affect your sleep: pregnancy, sleep quality, sleep debt, and even your age.
Answer the following questions to discover how much sleep do I need.
How long it takes for you to fall asleep?
Falling asleep can take around 15 to 20 minutes after you are in bed. If you find yourself still wide awake after this, you might be sabotaging your bedime. You might overeat before bed, drink coffee late in the day, or nap too late or too long. But if you’re asleep as soon as you hit the bed, you might not get enough sleep.
How are you feeling?
Keep a sleep diary. Either in written form or on your smartphone, create a daily log of how you feel when you wake up. Journal your sleep patterns every day to get insight on how well you sleep and when you suffer from poor sleep. From here, you can make adjustments to your sleep schedule, so you will be able to get your rest.
Do you use an alarm to get up?
Most of us set our alarms to make sure we wake up on time. But if you’re always up before your alarm or you wake up several times during the night (not because of a sleep problem), your brain might be saying you’ve had enough sleep.
If you find yourself struggling to get up from bed in the morning, you need to rethink your sleep patterns.
If you find that you are getting adequate amounts of sleep per night, you’re in luck. Set a sleep schedule to make sure you don’t miss sleep time or feel the effects of lack of sleep. 
What To Do If You’re Sleep Deprived
Sleep deprivation takes a toll on our energy, stress management, and mental alertness. And it can lead to various sleep disorders like sleep apnea, insomnia, and chronic sleep loss.
How much sleep do you need to not feel sleep deprived? First, let’s look at symptoms.
You might be sleep deprived if you experience the following: daytime sleepiness, mood swings, fatigue, post-meal drowsiness, or falling asleep while watching TV. Dark circles may appear under your eyes. You may find yourself making snap judgments. Even your skin becomes dull and dry. If you experience these symptoms, step up and change your sleeping habits.
If you are still asking, “How much sleep do I need?”, you will need to figure out how to improve sleep at night. Here are a few tips on how to fall asleep better.
Talk to your doctor
Rule out any sleep disorders. If you snore and it’s costing you or your partner sleep, you might have obstructive sleep apnea.
Exercise. Make exercise part of your routine. Even 30 minutes’ worth of workout can help you sleep better at night since your muscles are worn out. But make sure that you don’t exercise too close to bedtime.
Create a relaxing routine
If you only get light sleep, it might have something to do with your sleep routine. Are you using electronics in bed? Do you feel stressed before you sleep? Turn off your electronics and pick up a book an hour before bed. Or practice meditation or yoga to help you achieve a relaxed state.
Follow a regular sleep schedule. Another way for you to sleep better at night is to follow a schedule when going to sleep. Stick to this every day, even weekends, so your biological clock ticks properly.
Fix your sleep environment
From Gen Xers to older adults, bedrooms should be conducive to sleep at night. Your bedroom is your sleep haven. You need to make sure that your sleeping quarters make you feel ready for bed at night. That includes a comfortable bed, good bedding, and blackout curtains. 
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
Sleep is a complex process. Some people are short sleepers who can still function even when they sleep for less than six hours. But this group makes up only a small percent of the population. There are also long sleepers who need to sleep more than eight hours to be functional.
Although the amount of sleep time varies from person to person, everyone’s goal is to sleep better at night. It’s time to check your sleep schedule, your sleep habits, and your sleep environment.
Make the most out of your rest time.
How Much Sleep Do We Need
How Much Sleep Do We Need Resources:
 National Sleep Foundation; How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?.
 Health Line; How Many Hours of Sleep Do You Really Need?, Taylor Jones, RD, May 28, 2017.
 Real Simple; Here’s Exactly How Much Sleep You Need, According to the Experts, Abigail Wise.
 Sleep, National Sleep Foundation; How Many Hours of Sleep Do You Need?.
 Help Guide; Sleep Needs, Melinda Smith, M.A., Lawrence Robinson, Robert Segal, M.A., September 2018.