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• Pregnancy.
Changes in a woman’s body
during early pregnancy can increase the
need for sleep.
• Aging.
Older adults need about the same
amount of sleep as younger adults. As you
get older, however, your sleeping patterns
might change. Older adults tend to sleep
more lightly and for shorter time spans
than do younger adults. This might create a
need for spending more time in bed to get
enough sleep, or a tendency toward daytime
napping.
• Previous sleep deprivation.
If you’re
sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you
need increases.
• Sleep quality.
If your sleep is frequently
THE AMOUNT OF SLEEP YOU NEED
DEPENDS ON VARIOUS FACTORS -
ESPECIALLY YOUR AGE. CONSIDER
THESE GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR
DIFFERENT AGE GROUPS:
Age group
Recommended amount
of sleep
Infants
9-10 hours at night, plus
3 or more hours of naps
Toddlers
9-10 hours at night, plus
2-3 hours of naps
School-age
children
9-11 hours
Adults
7-8 hours
In addition to age, other factors can affect how
many hours of sleep you need. For example:
interrupted or cut short, you’re not getting
quality sleep. The quality of your sleep is just
as important as the quantity.
Although some people claim to feel rested on
just a few hours of sleep a night, research shows
that people who sleep so little over many nights
don’t perform as well on complex mental tasks
as do people who get closer to seven hours of
sleep a night. Studies among adults also show
that getting less or much more than seven hours
of sleep a night is associated with a higher
mortality rate.
If you experience frequent daytime sleepiness,
even after increasing the amount of quality sleep
you get, consult your doctor. He or she might be
able to identify any underlying causes - and help
you get a better night’s sleep.
H
How many hours of
sleep are enough for
good health?
Oct/Nov 2013
61