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How Much Sleep Do Adults Need?

by | Jul 1, 2020 | Blog

Is back pain preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep? If so, you could be missing out on some of the many benefits a full night’s rest provides. Dr. Peter Hinz and our team here at Cool Springs Chiropractic are here to help the people of Franklin, TN better understand the importance of sleep.

good night's sleep

How Much Sleep Do Adults Need?

Like almost everything else involving your health, how much sleep you need will depend on a large number of different factors. Your activity level, weight, work schedule, and most importantly, your age will have a large impact on how much you’re supposed to sleep each night. Here is the recommended amount of sleep depending on your age group:

  • Newborns – 14 to 17 hours a day
  • 12 months – Around 10 hours at night plus four hours of naps
  • Two years – About 11 to 12 hours at night plus a one-to-two-hour afternoon nap
  • Three to five years – 10 to 13 hours
  • Six to 13 years – 9 to 11 hours
  • 14 to 17 years – 8 to 10 hours
  • Adults –  7 to 9 hours

Getting this much sleep will your body rest and prepare itself for another day of hard work. It’s very important for newborns and children to get the correct amount of sleep as failing to do so may lead to a stunt in their growth. The older you get the more forgiving your body becomes when it has little to no sleep. 

What Other Factors Affect Sleep?

As mentioned earlier, there are several different factors outside of age that will affect how much sleep you should get on a nightly basis. Here are some of those factors:

  • Pregnancy – Changes in the body during early pregnancy can increase the need for sleep
  • Aging – Older adults need around the same amount of sleep as younger adults. However, as you get older your sleeping patterns may change. Older adults sleep more lightly and for shorter time spans than younger adults
  • Sleep deprivation – If you are sleep deprived, you will need an increase in sleep
  • Sleep quality – If your sleep is often interrupted, you are not getting quality sleep. The quality is just as important as the quantity

When it comes to sleep, it’s best to listen to your body. Luckily for us, our bodies tell us when it feels tired and when it wants to rest. Obviously, that doesn’t mean that you should just fall asleep on the spot but it does mean you should focus on getting more sleep. 

Why Is Sleep Important

Sleep plays a very important role in your physical health. In fact, some experts believe that sleep plays as big of a role in overall wellbeing as a healthy diet and regular exercise. When you’re asleep, your body cycles through periods of non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) and rapid eye movement sleep (REM). 

During these stages, your muscles are temporarily paralyzed. Some scientists believe your body does this so that you don’t physically act out your dreams. While paralyzed, your muscles rest and recover from their long day of work, getting ready for the next day. 

Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep

A good night’s sleep helps your muscles recover. It also provides a huge number of other benefits that affect every single part of your body. Here are some of the added benefits of a good night’s sleep:

  • Heart health – Lack of sleep has been associated with worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol. Both of these are risk factors for heart disease and stroke
  • Reduce stress – When sleep-deprived, your body is on high alert, which causes high blood pressure and the production of stress hormones
  • Improved memory – Sleep plays an important role in memory consolidation. When asleep, your brain is busy processing your day, making connections between events, sensory input, feelings, and memories
  • Weight loss – Research has found that those who sleep fewer hours per night are more likely to be overweight. This is because sleep impacts the balance of hormones in the body that affect appetite
  • Reduce your risk of depression – Sleep affects your level of serotonin. Those with lower serotonin levels are more likely to suffer from depression

As you can see, a good night’s sleep is incredibly important for your overall well being. If you’re serious about getting on top of your health, the first thing you should do is focus on getting more sleep. 

What Happens if I Don’t Get Enough Sleep?

Much like a good night’s rest provides huge benefits, a poor night’s rest provides major drawbacks. Losing sleep can impair your body’s ability to fight off illness. This is because there is a reciprocal relationship between sleep and your immune system. 

You’re also three times more likely to be involved in a car accident if you get six or fewer hours of sleep each night. This is because poor sleep can lead to major cognition issues, a reduction in motor function, and you run the risk of falling asleep at the wheel. Possibly worst of all, not enough sleep can reduce your sex drive by as much as 10-15%. 

Why Can’t I Sleep?

There are several reasons why you might find a difficult time falling and staying asleep at night. Some of these can be solved by a simple change in lifestyle while others may require professional assistance. Here are some reasons why you may not be able to sleep at night:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Pain

Some researchers believe that a lack of sleep can be caused by arthritis pain in the lower back, making sleep uncomfortable. One possible solution to this is chiropractic care. Chiropractic care can help ease back pain or eliminate it altogether, allowing you to rest easier. 

We Can Help You

If you think you’re having difficulty sleeping due to back pain, Dr. Peter Hinz and our team here at Cool Springs Chiropractic are here to help. We offer chiropractic care services in the Franklin, TN area. Give us a call today to find out how we can help you!