Sleep Range: What you must know

Many people, especially in the working class demographic, do not pay attention to their sleep range.  In the bid to make it early to work, most workers, especially in the Lagos metropolis, wake as early as 4a.m. That’s not bad but given that they got back home the night before by 10:05pm and managed to hit the bed by 11:32pm that raises a red flag. While this schedule may mean punctuality at work, their sleep range suffers. The sad thing about this cycle is that it’s on repeat for the whole work week. In this article, we would consider information on how much sleep our bodies needs to be well rested.

First, the importance of sleep cannot be overemphasized. Unlike what most college students think, going all night night without sleep is not a productivity hack. Rather, resting well at night actually boost productivity during the day. While we sleep, the brain is forming new neural pathways. This increases the ability to grasp concepts and the ability to recall information.  Asides it’s importance to your grey matter, adequate sleep is required to heal and repair heart and blood vessels. In fact, your body needs adequate sleep to fight harmful harmful substances. That is because the soldiers that nature has endowed you with (the cells of your immune system) needs adequate sleep to stay healthy.

So, that begs the question how much sleep do I really need? Well, the truth is that the amount of sleep you really need cannot be reduced to a figure. Rather, research has shown that there is a minimum and maximum range that is good for our well-being as a recommended window of sleep. However, what will determine the amount of sleep that you really need depends on a factors such as age, lifestyle factors like work schedules and health conditions. Let’s peruse the latest recommended sleep range as published by the National Sleep Foundation world’s leading authority on sleep, sleep health, sleep science and other related topics.

  • Newborns (0-3 months ): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)
  • Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)
  • Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)
  • School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
  • Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
  • Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
  • Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)

So for someone like me, my body needs anywhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per day. That is certainly not easy to come by given my schedule but if I must be productive, I need to try to clock in that number of hours.

Do you think you have been getting enough sleep? How has your sleeping habits affected your general health? Join in the conversation below.