May 18, 2015
What even is “sleep”, am I right? I feel like I often find some new study observing some other aspect of sleep that contradicts some previous study or some previous observation on one of mankind’s inevitable actions. While popular belief says that we should get a full nine hours of sleep in order to feel truly refreshed, the National Sleep Foundation’s most recent guidelines actually says that we can get away with getting with less sleep than that – it’s all really dependent on your age, though.
The guidelines are an update to the last time the foundation released its guidelines and took two years of research to put together. According to the new guidelines, the amount of recommended sleep varies depending on the age group. For the majority of us adults, NSF recommends that we put in seven to nine hours of shut-eye – and in some cases, six hours of sleep are even acceptable.
Looking at the infographic below, it’s no surprise that younger age groups need more sleep in order to keep their brains functioning. School-age children, for instance, require between 9 and 11 hours of sleep, while infants need between 12 and 15 hours. What’s surprising, though, is that those in the oldest age group (over the age of 65 years) are fine getting between 5 and 6 hours.
Basically, the takeaway from these new sleep guidelines is that the amount of sleep we actually need is more fluid than we think. So, if you’re trying to mimic the sleeping behavior of famous, successful people, it wouldn’t necessarily kill you to play around with the amount of sleep you actually need.
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