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Good Sleep Is The Key To Good Health And Longevity

Good Sleep Is The Key To Good Health And Longevity

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How Many Hours of Sleep do You Really Need?

Good Sleep is the Key to Good Health and Longevity

Sleeping is the Best Medication and Meditation

Let us first discuss what exactly is sleep? It is an extended form of rest which we get daily, when we lie down and close our eyes. Now the question arises how many hours of this sleep or rest is needed daily and is it essential for health?

Now the answer to how much sleep is required daily depends on several factors like age, Genetic makeup, Sleep quality etc

  • Elderly people (65+yrs) 7-8hrs

  • Adults-(18-64yrs) 7-9 hrs

  • Teenagers (14-17yrs) 8-10hrs

  • School kids (6-13yrs) 9-11hrs

  • Preschoolers (3-5yrs) 10-13hrs

  • Toddlers (1-3yrs) 11-14hrs

  • Infants (4-11months) 12-15hrs

  • Newborns (0-3months) 14-17hrs

This is the recommended amount of sleep a person needs but it can be affected due to Genetic mutation which can cause insomnia. Sleep disorders like sleep apnea can reduce good sleep.

Now let us discuss whether not getting adequate sleep can create problems?

There is a saying ‘Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.’

Sleep is an important tool to remain healthy in life. It is as important as good diet and proper exercise.  When a person sleeps, the body rebuilds the worn out muscles used during the day and eliminates the toxic wastes and harmful plaques produced in the brain during the day.  It also helps to regulate our emotions, helps in appetite control, strengthens the immune system and enhances body metabolism. Sleep regulates our internal clock or the Circadian Rhythm.

Now it is not only the hours of sleep but the quality of sleep which is important.

Let us discuss the importance of Deep Sleep and REM Sleep

Each stage of the sleep cycle offers different benefits, they are-

  1. Deep Sleep- It is the time when the body repairs itself to boost the energy for the next day’s activities and along with that uplifts the mind and mood.

  2. REM Sleep- This is also an important part of the sleep cycle. During this period one should get a deep and sound sleep. A person should try to sleep in a dark and sound proof room. While sleeping one should avoid the intake of alcohol and nicotine, so that one gets a deep sleep during the REM sleep. The REM or dream sleep helps to restore the body and removes irrelevant information from the brain. This helps a person to get up refreshed the next day

Now let us discuss what problems may occur if one doesn't get the required sleep?

  • A person remains lethargic and drowsy the whole day.

  • The person becomes irritable, moody and has lack of motivation.

  • A person suffers from fatigue, depression, reduced creativity, lack of concentration, inability to cope up with stress.

  • The immune system weakens, person ages before time, motor skills become impaired and the person is at a risk of developing diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

The ways to get our complete sleep-

  • One must get oneself checked to rule out any physical ailment which might be causing sleep disturbances.

  • Keep a regular sleep schedule

  • Exercise regularly

  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugary foods at bedtime

  • Sleep environment should be relaxed, one should avoid gadgets, screens at bedtime. Listen to soothing music, have a warm bath, keep the room dark, practice meditation so that sleep is undisturbed.

We should pay attention to our diet so that we can get a sound sleep-

Refined food should be avoided, crackers, oatmeal are good substitutes. Nuts like almond and walnuts are useful in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Foods containing lean protein like cottage cheese are beneficial.

A cup of chamomile , ginger or peppermint tea or a glass of warm milk help to keep a person calm and sleep soundly.

Keeping all the above factors in mind can help a person stay healthy.

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