Achieving high-quality sleep on a regular basis is one of the most important things you can do to stay feeling fit and healthy. More than simply providing an opportunity to rest, sleep is vital for a number of bodily and mental processes such as muscle repair, committing experiences to memory, regulating emotions, appetite control, maintaining a healthy immune system, and much more.

Unfortunately, however, thanks to the nature of our always-on, digital lifestyles combined with an increasing prevalence of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, more people are experiencing sleep deprivation than ever before. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, a shocking 70% of adults in the US report facing sleep deprivation at least once a month. But how much sleep is enough and how many hours of rest should you be aiming for?

First Things First: Everyone is Different

One of the first things to understand about sleep is that it is an incredibly complex area of scientific study. For reasons that scientists are yet to fully explain, the amount of sleep needed to maintain a healthy body and mind can differ widely from person to person. Generally speaking, however, it is thought that the average adult aged between 18 and 64 needs between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. This number goes up for children and down for older adults.

If you are only sleeping five or six hours a night, do not worry just yet. A number of factors may influence your personal sleep requirements including:

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Genetics

Some genetic mutations can significantly influence how long a person needs to sleep every night, as well as what time of day they prefer to sleep and the ways in which they cope with sleep deprivation. If one of your parents, for example, claims to operate just fine on six hours of sleep a night, you may have inherited this enviable ability. Of course, you cannot rely on genetic patterns alone to understand your sleep requirements. A much better tactic is to monitor how you feel on a daily basis and aim to spend a little more time in bed if you feel fatigued regularly.

Quality of sleep

If your sleep is not of adequate quality, you may find yourself feeling tired during the day despite getting a considerable quantity of sleep. Conversely, people who sleep soundly may find that they do not need to spend much time in bed. Some of the primary causes of poor sleep quality involve sleep disorders like sleep apnea or certain parasomnias such as nightmares, sleep talking, sleepwalking, or teeth grinding. If you feel tired on a regular basis and are unsure why, it is well worth asking your doctor to test you for a sleep disorder.

Get In Touch Today

If you’re interested in improving your sleep quality and working out how much time you should actually be spending in bed, get in touch with TMJ & Sleep Solutions today. One of our friendly team members will be happy to take your call.

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