Do You Sleep Enough?

Pietari Nurmi
Jul 15 · 3 min read

The cornerstone of good sleep is, perhaps a bit self-evidently, to sleep enough. Even the soundest sleepers struggle during the days if they don't let themselves to sleep long enough. You can't compensate for insufficient sleep in any other way than by sleeping.

The amount of sleep your brain and body need is closely connected to your age. Children, for example, require way more sleep than adults. In addition to this, the required amount is highly individual. Some people need more sleep than most of us, and on the other hand, there is a small group of individuals who require only a few hours of sleep per night. These extreme cases are, however rare, and most people need sleep according to the following recommendations:

  • Adults: 7-9 hours

  • Adolescents: 8-10 hours

  • Children: 9-11 hours

  • Newborns: 11-14 hours

Sleeping too little is alarmingly common. For many people, it is surprisingly tricky to get the required amount of sleep. For the vast majority of us, the optimal time is 7-9 hours every night. If you notice that you are sleeping significantly more on the weekends than on weekdays, you're likely not getting enough sleep on weekdays. Many people accumulate sleep debt and try to compensate for it by sleeping more on the weekends. The fact is, however, that the sleep you never had, and the benefits it would have provided, are lost forever and cannot be regained by merely paying back your sleep debt.

Additional Reading

Did you know: Seniors require as much sleep as adults

Some believe that the amount of sleep you need decreases as you age, but recent scientific research doesn't support this belief. However, sleep quality deteriorates, and many types of sleep problems become more frequent as we age. Which is why senior people sleep less than they used to when they were younger. The need for sleep stays the same and having too little sleep might come back to you as memory problems.

Hirshkowitz, M., Whiton, K., Albert, S. M., Alessi, C., Bruni, O., DonCarlos, L., … Adams Hillard, P. J. (2015). National sleep foundation’s sleep time duration recommendations: Methodology and results summary. Sleep Health, 1(1), 40–43.

Walker, M. (2017). Why we sleep: Unlocking the power of sleep and dreams. Simon and Schuster