By Anwita Sandesh
Sleep and its Role in Our Everyday Life
Sleep plays a very crucial role in our lives through its capability in affecting many aspects of wellbeing such as mental/physical functioning, immunity, and metabolism. But, whether it’s waking up at 6 AM throughout the week or preferring to sleep until the noon hours of the day, everyone has a different relationship with sleep. These different relationships can be due to personal decisions made by individuals, or it can be a result of certain circumstances such as illness or schedule that have forced them into such a pattern. Regardless of our different sleep experiences, many of us know that getting enough sleep is pivotal towards our wellbeing.
The Right Amount of Sleep
Just as how we all have different relationships with sleep, our definitions of “the right amount of sleep” may vary. This may mean that you are getting more or less sleep than you actually need. So, how much sleep should one be getting?
Children (6-13) → 9-11 hrs a day
Teens (14-17) → 8-10 hrs a day
Adults (18-64) →7-9 hrs a day
Benefits of Getting Enough Sleep on Mental Health:
Reduces stress and improves overall mood
Being able to think more clearly
Get along with others better
Lowers the likelihood of depression
Helps cognitive skills like memory, learning, and concentration
These are just some of the benefits… There are much more benefits that have been proven to be a result of getting enough sleep.
Sleep: The Teen Experience
As mentioned above, a typical teen from ages 14-17 should be getting 8-10 hrs of sleep a day. In reality, most teens find it hard to live up to this expectation, especially during the school year. Academics, sports, and other extracurricular activities may be taking a toll on how much and how well you sleep. In addition, distractions, procrastination, or ongoing illnesses can be restricting you from maintaining a healthy sleep schedule, subsequently deteriorating your mental health. Finding ways to combat this such as eliminating distractions or creating an easy to follow schedule can help you get back on track. Freeing your workload can help with this as well. That way, you can get the required amount of sleep as well as reap the benefits of doing so.