As a college student, an independent individual, and a workaholic I know what sleep deprivation means. It is important to give sleep the respect it deserves, because too often does it fall under the radar of the day’s long list of priorities. So, with the aid of the National Sleep Foundation, I am here to help my fellow Scoopers make sleep a priority!
The first thing to understand about sleep is that you need it. And unfortunately, there is no magic number to ensure you get the right amount of sleep each night. Sleep is like a characteristic, a trait specific to the individual. Some people have incredibly physical lifestyles and may need more hours of deep slumber than someone you lead a lighter life with a more balanced schedule.
What inhibits one’s sleep count you ask? Well, there are two factors that affect your sleep count. The first is known as Basal Sleep Need, this is the amount of sleep our bodies need on a regular basis for optimal performance. The second is known as Sleep Debt-unfortunately even sleep collects debt. Sleep debt occurs when sleep is lost to poor sleeping habits, sickness, or environmental influences and begins to add up against you.
In order to pay off your sleep debt, it is important to establish a schedule and to stick to it even on the weekends or your days off. The National Sleep Foundation includes a chart on their website to help break down and match the preferred hours of sleep with the appropriate age groups. These are their results:
NEWBORNS (0-2 MONTHS)——————à 12-18 HOURS
INFANTS (3-11 MONTHS)—————–à 14-15 HOURS
TODDLERS (1-3 YEARS OLD)—————-à 12-14 HOURS
PRESCHOOLERS (3-5 YEARS OLD)—————-à 11-13 HOURS
SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN (5-10 YEARS OLD)————–à 10-11 HOURS
TEENAGERS (10-17 YEARS OLD)————-à 8.5-9.25 HOURS
ADULTS ——————————————————–à 7-9 HOURS
Now remember Scoopers, this chart doesn’t mean that there in fact is a magic number because there’s not. The National Sleep Foundation is just providing guidelines to help get your sleeping patterns back to normal so you can wake up every morning looking healthy and feeling active.
There’s nothing worse than thinking “coffee” as soon as you open your eyes. So, don’t let sleep take the back burner. Embrace your pillow and allow yourself some beauty rest for old times’ sake.