Today is World Sleep Day - do you get enough?

Friday, March 17, 2017 - 08:15

Today is World Sleep Day. Oh, did we wake you up? We said, today is World Sleep Day. 

It's a day to bring awareness to the need for sleep. Many of us are not getting the right amount of sleep we need. 

From long hours at demanding jobs, late night Instagram-scrolling and stress-induced insomnia, sleep sometimes becomes a long way down our list of priorities.

The phenomenon was even dubbed a ‘sleep crisis’ by researchers in the United States last year.

Earlier this year, a report suggested the UK loses US$50billion (£40.4 million) and 604,000 working days a year due to sleep deprivation whereas the US loses US$411 billion.

In 2014, it was estimated six out of 10 British people are sleep deprived, partly because of the advent of smart phones.

But how much sleep do you actually need?

There has long been an association with successful people such as heads of government, CEOs and business moguls who have spoken about functioning at a particularly high level on just a few hours of sleep each night.

The amount of sleep we need varies on many factors, one of which is our age.

Ana Noia, a senior clinical physiologist in neurophysiology and sleep, at Bupa Cromwell Hospital told The Independent that while how much sleep someone needs can vary according to the individual, as a standard rule how much sleep someone needs will change with age.

According to Noia:

Newborns need 16-18 hours a day.
Two-year-olds typically need on average 11-13 hours. 
By the age of five, children will sleep between 10-12 hours. 
Teenagers definitely don’t sleep enough and should be getting eight to 10 hours.
From the age of 20 onwards it is normal to sleep seven to nine hours.

Once you’re older than 65, the amount of sleep you need actually decreases, to around five to seven hours. However, she recommends that adults sleep between seven to eight hours a night.