Sleep. It’s a basic necessity of life, as important to our health and well-being as air, food and water. When we sleep well we wake up feeling refreshed, alert and ready to face daily challenges.
When we don’t, every part of our lives can suffer. Our jobs, relationships, productivity, health and safety (and that of those around us) are all put at risk. Lack of sleep due to sleep loss or sleep disorders is taking a serious toll.
If sleepiness interferes with or makes it difficult to do your daily activities, you probably need more sleep. Although sleep experts generally recommend an average of 7-9 hours per night, some people can get along with less while others need as much as ten hours to feel alert the next day. Sleep requirements vary over the life cycle. Newborns and infants need a lot of sleep and have several periods of sleep throughout a 24-hour time period.
Naps are important to them as well as to toddlers who may nap up to the age of 5. As children enter adolescence, their sleep patterns shift to a later sleep-wake cycle, but they still need around 9 hours of sleep. Throughout adulthood, even as we get older, we need 7-8 hours of sleep. Sleep patterns may change, but the need for sleep remains the same.