In our last post, we talked about former military men who went into business and succeeded. In today’s post, we are going to look at how much sleep you need for optimal performance.
Sleep is necessary but in a world where we seem to be juggling a thousand tasks, it might seem the less you sleep, the more time you have to tick off your daily to-do-list. But is that really the case?
Health Line has an article that discusses the right amount of sleep you need for optimal performance.
One study found that getting only five hours per night for several nights in a row decreases mental performance to the same extent as drinking enough alcohol to have a blood alcohol content of 0.06.
How Much Sleep You Need Depends on Several Things
Every individual has unique needs and preferences, and the answer to how much sleep you need is no different.
Nevertheless, the amount of sleep you need per night is largely determined by your age.
Official recommendations for sleep duration are broken down by age group:
- Older adults (65+): 7–8 hours
- Adults (18–64 years): 7–9 hours
- Teenagers (14–17 years): 8–10 hours
- School children (6–13 years): 9–11 hours
- Preschoolers (3–5 years): 10–13 hours
- Toddlers (1–2 years): 11–14 hours
- Infants (4–11 months): 12–15 hours
- Newborns (0–3 months): 14–17 hours
However, some people might need more or less sleep than is generally recommended, depending a few factors.
But the amount of sleep is only part of the story. You also need to consider the quality. The quality of sleep is determined by a few things and Sleep Cycle amply covered these in a post.
1. Block out light
We all have a clock known as the circadian rhythm built in. It tell us that when it’s light we should be awake, and when it’s dark we should be heading off to bed. Int he evening when it’s dark, your brain triggers the release of melatonin; a hormone that naturally makes you feel sleepy. In order to keep your melatonin levels in check and help your body protect its natural circadian rhythm, try and avoid bright light an hour before bed.
Kids usually love hearing bedtime stories before bedtime, but as we grow up we tend to drop the habit of reading ourselves to sleep. According to Lifehack, six things happen when you read before bed and improving your sleep is listed as number one.
3. Avoid afternoon naps
Naps during the day can sometimes be counterproductive as they risk disrupt your nighttime sleep schedule, especially if you nap during the afternoon and find yourself having trouble falling asleep when it’s time for bed. If you absolutely need a nap during the day, use a nap tracker like Sleep Cycle power nap to make sure you do not oversleep.
4. Stick to a sleep schedule
People experiencing trouble sleeping are often advised to keep a sleep schedule that directs them to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
One other thing that affects the quality of your sleep is the kind of mattress you are using. It really is not easy to pick the perfect mattress. Mattress Battle has a tool that lets you compare different mattress brands and makes to see which one meets your budget and sleep needs.
The bottom line is that sleeping less is not always a great idea. Your body needs ample rest in order to be ready for the coming day. If you can sleep the right number of hours and have the perfect conditions according to you will see your performance go through the roof.