Health Byte: How many hours of sleep do we require?

Adequate sleep is key to healthy lifestyle as it benefits your heart, weight, mind and improves your quality of life.

Benefits of good sleep
Picture for representation Reuters

Irrespective of good food and regular exercise, human body requires at least seven hours of sleep every night, lest the body mechanism faces severe consequences in the long run affecting the overall and mental health.

Nearly 90% of people experience the negative outcome of sleep deprivation such as like fagitue, bad mood, or lack of concentration that follow every night of poor sleep. But many people never realize what actually caused these consequences. Lack of good sleep, especially on regular basis, is associated with chronic medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, and that these problems may shorten the life term as well, according to researchers.

Sleeping more than 9 hours or less than 7 hours may bring forth negative impact on the human body. Harneet Walia, an insomnia expert once stated: "It's important to focus on getting enough sleep that something many of us lack. First and foremost, we need to make sleep a priority. We always recommend a good diet and exercise to everyone. Along the same lines, we need to focus on sleep as well."

After at least 7 hours of good sleep, we feel much better. Taking a rest after every means may help to digest the food smoothly and would give better healthful results.

National Sleep Foundation has recommended a targeted sleep number tailored to all ages, given below in the table. This report is based on two years of research and was published in a recent issue of the foundation's journal Sleep Health.

The below shows seven age-specific categories with a range for each, which helps every individual to sleep efficiently and bear productive result:

  • Age groups
  • Sleeping hours
1/ Older adults, 64+yrs7 - 8 hours
2/Adults,26-64 yrs7- 9 hours
Young adults 18-25 yrs7 -9 hours
Teenagers, 14-17yrs8 -10 hours
School-age children 6-139-11 hours
Toddlers,1-2 yrs11-14 hours
Infants,4-11 months12-15 hours

"Sleep used to be kind of ignored, like parking our car in a garage and picking it up in the morning," says David Rapoport, revealing the positive outcome of good sleeping habits.


According to the research, even missing as little as 1.5 hours can have a negative impact on health. However, experts recommend not less than 7 hours of sleep every night to be able to remain alert throughout the day and concentrate on work, studies and other daily routine.

Good memory power:

Lack of good sleep can affect the ability of the brain to think and remember better or process information. Even one hour of effective sleep may increase the memory power, recommend experts.

No stress:

Good sleep keeps people free from being moody and they are less likely to have conflicts with others. It provides more relief and helps to keep the mind in a relaxed position throughout the day, say experts.

Good quality of life:

Undertaking normal daily activities like walking, jogging, talking with friends help people to be socialized and lead a better quality of life. Hence, doctors advise to focus on getting more sleep, and shun night-long TV viewing and texting on smartphones.