Are you asking yourself the question: am I getting enough sleep? If yes, you should click here to learn how many hours of sleep you need each night.
Do you have a tough time focusing on what you’re doing at school or work on a daily basis? Are you struggling to control your emotions almost every day? Have unexplained health issues started to cause complications in your life?
These are just some of the warning signs that will show that you’re exhausted. They should have you wondering whether or not you’re getting the right amount of sleep night in and night out.
But “Am I getting enough sleep?” is actually a lot more difficult to answer than you might think. This is because there are some people who might be able to function on just two hours of sleep and others who won’t even be able to wake up in the morning without eight or nine hours of sleep.
Still, it’s worth asking yourself the question, “How many hours of sleep do I need each night?”, and trying to answer it. It’ll ensure that you’re at least attempting to figure out how much sleep you need to be at your best.
Let’s explore this topic a little bit more below.
How Many Hours of Sleep Do I Need?
As we mentioned a moment ago, everyone needs a different amount of sleep at night in order to be able to function the following day. Some people squeak by with just a few hours of sleep, while others spend almost half their lives sleeping.
If you’re trying to gauge approximately how much sleep you need at night, you might want to start by considering your age. People need to get different amounts of sleep throughout the course of their lives.
Here is a convenient recommended sleep by age chart that helps break it down:
- 0-1 years old: Somewhere between 12 and 17 hours of sleep per day
- 1-2 years old: Somewhere between 11 and 14 hours of sleep per day
- 3-5 years old: Somewhere between 10 and 13 hours of sleep per day
- 6-13 years old: Somewhere between 9 and 11 hours of sleep per day
- 14-17 years old: Somewhere between 8 and 10 hours of sleep per day
- 18-64 years old: Somewhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per day
- 65+ years old: Somewhere between 7 and 8 hours of sleep per day
If you’ve been thinking, “Am I getting enough sleep?”, see where you fall on this chart. A 25-year-old who is only getting five hours of sleep, for example, is probably not getting enough sleep every night.
Am I Getting Enough Sleep?
You can use the chart above to get some sense of whether or not you’re getting enough sleep. But as you’ll notice when you look at it, there are some age ranges that have wide gaps in between the minimum and maximum amounts of sleep that people need.
This can make it hard for you to figure out if you’re getting the right amount of sleep each night. The chart might tell you that seven hours of sleep is plenty for you. But you might not think so based on how you feel each day.
Those wondering, “Am I getting enough sleep?”, should do more than just check out the chart above. You should also keep a close eye out for signs that will let you know you’re more tired than you should be.
We talked about some of the signs of exhaustion earlier. But the signs you experience don’t always have to be as dramatic as those ones are. You also might not be getting enough sleep if you’re experiencing:
- Frequent headaches
- Sore, achy muscles
- Impaired judgment
- Constant dizziness
- Persistent irritability
You shouldn’t ignore these signs or chalk them up as just temporary things. They can lead to more serious issues down the line if you continue to let sleep problems linger.
Does It Matter When You Sleep?
One of the reasons why so many people struggle to get enough sleep these days is because of their busy schedules. People literally can’t find enough hours in the day to create a sleep schedule and stick to it.
Does this sound like you? If it does, you might be asking, “Does it matter when you sleep?” If you work at odd times during the day, you might think that squeezing sleep into unorthodox time slots might be your best bet.
The truth is that you can sleep at any time of the day or night if you want to do it. Those people who work the so-called graveyard shift usually have to spend at least a portion of their daytime hours in bed.
If this is something you’re dealing with, you can still make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Experts would just recommend that you try and make it feel like nighttime in your bedroom as best you can. It’ll help you get quality sleep as you rest during the day.
Some people have tried to argue that 10 p.m. is the perfect time for those of most ages to go to bed at night. But you can go to sleep at almost any time you want as long as you get enough sleep while you’re in bed. It’s all about finding something that works well with your schedule.
What Can I Do to Get More Sleep?
At this point, are you starting to get the sense that you might not be getting enough sleep at night?
Maybe you were appalled to see how little sleep you’re getting compared to other people your age after seeing the chart earlier. Or maybe you realized you’ve spotted some of the signs of chronic tiredness that we touched on earlier.
Whatever the case might be, you should make it your mission to start sleeping more each night. There are a variety of things that you can do to make sure you’re able to sleep better.
For starters, you can give yourself a bedtime—and commit to abiding by it. You might not think that you need a bedtime if you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or 50s, but you can benefit from it in a big way. A bedtime will create some structure for your sleep schedule.
You can also do some of these things to try to get more sleep than you’re getting now:
- Avoid drinking anything with caffeine or alcohol in it late in the day
- Begin getting more exercise every day and try to get it early on in the day
- Create a bedtime routine for yourself and follow it before climbing into bed each night
Additionally, you might want to tinker with your diet and consider using supplements like this sleep aid vitamin to get more sleep.
What If I Can’t Sleep at Night No Matter How Hard I Try?
There are some people who don’t get nearly enough sleep each night even though they try their hardest to do it. They do everything that we just mentioned but can’t seem to drift off at night once they get into bed.
Does this describe you? You might want to take a step back and try to find out what’s preventing you from getting sleep at night.
Is it because:
- You’re playing on your phone in bed and exposing yourself to blue light that is known to cause sleep issues?
- You’re taking a medication that is making it tough to get your body and mind to calm down at bedtime?
- You’re not creating an atmosphere in your bedroom that is conducive to sleep?
It’s not always easy to figure out why you’re not sleeping enough. But if your answer to the question, “Am I getting enough sleep?”, is always, “Yes!”, you should try to diagnose the heart of your issue.
Should I See a Sleep Doctor?
Every year, tens of millions of Americans suffer from sleep problems that they can’t defeat on their own. There are a whole host of sleep problems that you might be forced to deal with at some point in your life.
Some of the most common sleep problems are:
- Sleep apnea
- Restless leg syndrome
If you feel as though you might be suffering from any of these problems, you’re going to need to see a sleep doctor to find out what to do about them. They’re going to continue to give you fits at night if you don’t find an answer for them.
Make Sure You’re Getting the Right Amount of Sleep Every Night
Not getting enough sleep at night can be, at best, a minor inconvenience. It can make it hard for you to concentrate during the day and leave you yawning every 30 seconds.
But not getting enough sleep at night can also be dangerous in other instances. Depending on what you do for work, you might put yourself and others at risk if you ever lose your focus while you’re on the job.
It’s why you should ask yourself, “Am I getting enough sleep?”, and answer the question honestly. It’s also why you should push yourself to get more sleep if you don’t believe you’re getting enough of it.
Find the right number of hours for you and start sleeping more. It’ll allow you to lead a better life and leave you feeling your best at all times.
Read through the articles on our blog for more tips and tricks on falling asleep and staying asleep at night.