Sleep. People crave it, they desire it and we all eventually need it. Sooner or later everyone must go to sleep, otherwise, we would just keel over and die. Since people need sleep, the question is how much sleep do they really need? We will answer this question and explore how meaningful sleep is to our existence.
So, how much sleep does a person need?
When it comes to sleeping, people will need between 8 and 10 hours a rest a day. The recommended amount of sleep for different groups of people is as follows:
- Children (12 and under): 8 – 10 hours a day.
- Teenagers (13 – 17): 8 – 10 hours a day.
- Young Adults (19 – 26): 7 – 9 hours a day.
- Adults (27 – 64): 7 – 9 hours a day.
- Older Adults (65+): 7 – 9 hours a day.
*By the way, many older people who are 80 and above tend to sleep a lot. Sometimes they can sleep as much as 12 to 16 hours a day. The reason why they sleep so much is that they need the rest to help their bodies to continue to function at optimal levels. In this case, a lot of extra sleep tends to extend life.
So, these are the recommended sleep levels for people. The above recommendations are just a guideline for most people. Some people can go extended periods of time without a lot of sleep. Also, some people who are tired can sleep for many days. It just depends on the person and their situation.
Special Circumstances and Sleep
People can also sleep for a longer period of time when they have to deal with out of the ordinary circumstances. For example, if they experience a death in their family; people have a tendency to sleep a longer period of time to avoid dealing with the pain of this type of situation.
Individuals who go through a traumatic experience will sometimes go to sleep and stay asleep as a means to cope with the situation. In some instances, doctors or health professionals will give a person drugs to keep them asleep to get through this problem.
If a person trains or workout a lot they will often need a lot of sleep as a part of their recovery. This is also true for people who does a lot of physical work on their job. Occupations that require people to use their mind can also create the same effect in terms of sleep. This is also true for students at a college or in high school. Mental taxation also tires people out as well.
Some people who experience a lot of physical pain often use sleep as a means to cope. Sleep helps them to forget the pain and it helps their bodies to feel better. People who travel a lot tend to need a great deal of sleep when they get a chance to rest. Truck drivers, bus operators, and airline pilots fall into this category.
What if a person only gets 6 hours (or less) of sleep per day?
People have been known to get less than 6 hours of sleep a day. Sometimes people can sleep this short amount of time and be just fine. It is a known fact that people can get 4 hours and be perfectly okay throughout the day. People who fight in wars or have to function under stressful circumstances typically function on 1 to 2 hours of sleep. During World War II a lot of soldiers had to fight many days with only 1 to 2 hours of sleep.
Keep in mind that a person’s body will eventually shut down when it needs rest. So, if a person is trying to avoid sleep they will eventually get to a point where they will fall asleep. A person’s body will naturally carry out this process on its own if a person is trying to force themselves to stay awake. Sleeping disorders such as insomnia or apnea can cause a person to stay up for days on end. However, a person’s body will also eventually shut down in these type of circumstances as well.
Everyone needs sleep. Without it the brain, organs and physical functions will not properly operate. So, a person should get the recommended amounts of sleep. If not, they should get enough rest to feel revived and refreshed after they wake.