How many hours to sleep in a day?

How many hours to sleep in a day?

Quality sleep is important since it impacts your mental state, physical state, including emotional balance, immune system, vitality and your weight! While you are resting the body is busy in repair and maintenance to keep the body functions running in optimal condition.  

Various research findings give us a rough clue on exactly how many hours to sleep

  • Teenagers (14-17)-Sleep range 8-10 hours
  • Younger adults (18-25) – Sleep range 7-9 hours
  • Adults (26-64) – Sleep range 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+) – Sleep range is 7-8 hours

Misconceptions and facts about sleep

  • Getting one or two hours of less sleep few nights will not affect your daytime functioning. Losing out on quality sleep one or two hours affects your ability to react and respond to tasks at hand. It hampers your cardiovascular functions, energy-levels and your immune system is compromised.

  • Extra hours of sleep can help to cure excessive fatigue during the day. Emphasis should be on the quality of sleep and not on the quantity of sleep. Need to catch-up on sleep? Well, ensure you sleep on an empty stomach to make-up for the sleep lost. Avoid sleeping right after heavy meals it induces lethargy.
  • We can more than make up for lost hours of sleep during the work weekdays by sleeping additional hours during the weekends. This type sleeping pattern can only relieve little part of your sleep debt, but it will not completely compensate for lost hours of sleep.  Over sleeping during weekends will affect sleep-wake cycle and then it will be much harder for you to sleep at the correct time on Sunday night so that you can get-up on time on Monday mornings.

Yoga advocates that sleep should be an integral personal practice to live life and function optimally. Check out Smt Hansaji’s insights on how to get quality sleep

Some simple Pranayamas (yoga cure) that help to curtail insomnia can be easily done before you go to bed. Deep slow, rhythmic, and non-jerky breathing will help to relax the body, calm the mind and helps to slow down the heart rate. Ensure you have switched off your phone and the lights and then practice any one of these pranayamas. You can do any of these breathing exercises easily from the comfort of your bed for few minutes before you go to sleep.

Calm The Nerves- Chandra Bhedana Pranayama

Method: Sleep on your right side this contributes to open up the left nostril breathing. You start by inhaling from the left nostril and exhaling from the right nostril. Keep the inhale and exhale count same. Stay focused on your breath. Repeat 5 rounds.

Benefits: This breathing technique cleanses the nadis (internal energy channels) and has a cooling effect on the nervous system. Mind cooling yoga exercise!

Yogendra Pranayama – IV Or Abdominal Breathing

Method: Lie supine. Bend both knees, keeping feet close to buttocks. Place one hand on the abdomen. Inhale the abdomen moves upwards. Exhale the belly moves downwards. Keep inhalation/exhalation equal; start with three seconds, maximum eight. Maximum ten rounds.

Benefits: Breathing becomes long, deep, steady and continuous. The nervous system is relaxed. The diaphragm is activated and lung utilisation becomes fuller. Abdominal organs are relaxed and revitalised.

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