Sleep is one of basic needs under the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Everyone needs the right amount of sleep every day in order to function adequately. Sleep functions in the body in so many ways such as:
- Restoration of the Body
Sleep has a very vital role in restoring the body. According to studies, deprivation from sleep actually may cause poor wound healing as well as lowered immune system. Since there is lowered immune system, the body is not able to ward off possible harmful substances that may subsequently affect healing. In addition, those who sleep adequately at night were observed having lesser free radicals in the brain; thereby allowing the body to restore the brain’s function.
Part of restoration is also the secretion of adequate growth hormones that is vital for tissue growth, leading to healthier bones and body, meaning less visits to your Wesley Chapel chiropractor. Sleeping adequately at night allows for more efficient growth hormone release for optimum growth especially for children. Other body processes also depend on the different hormones produced in the brain that are maximized during sleep.
- Brain Development
For newborns, adequate amounts of active sleep or REM sleep improve brain development. Those who were deprived of sleep at early stages in life actually suffered from decreased brain mass, sleep deprivation that is permanent and increased cell death of neurons. This explains why newborn babies require more sleep than other people because of their brain’s need for development.
- Memory Preservation
Another important function of sleep is preservation of memory. Studies show that those who are deprived from sleep suffer from memory problems that significantly affect cognitive functioning, reasoning, decision making and other mental challenges.
Indeed, sleep is very important so having adequate sleep at night is also imperative. The question is what are the optimum hours of sleep at night?
The amount of sleep needed each night by individuals differs according to age. As a rule, the amount of sleep usually lessens as the person grows or develops, with newborns having the longest optimum hours of sleep needed. The following summarizes the amount of sleep that is needed by people according to age:
|Population Group||Age Bracket||Number of Hours of Sleep Needed|
|Newborns||0 to 2 mos||12- 18 hrs|
|Infants||3 to 11 mos||14 – 15 hrs|
|Toddlers||1 to 3 yrs||12 – 14 hrs|
|Preschoolers||3 to 5 yrs||11 – 13 hrs|
|School-age children||5 to 10 yrs||10 – 11 hrs|
|Adolescents||10 to 17 yrs||8 – 9 hrs|
|Adults||18 to 65 yrs||7 – 9 hrs|
|Elderly||65 years and above||Approximately 8 hrs|
Optimum sleep is achieved when people do not feel any daytime sleepiness. Aside from the number of hours needed, it is also imperative that people undertake sleep at the right time as a 10-hour sleep in the morning is never better than an 8-hour sleep at night by adults. People need to sleep in relation to their circadian rhythms to maximize the amount of sleep they get. In this regard, people should make sure to undertake sleep between 8 pm to 9 pm each night.