Health! How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?- Expert Reveals

Sleep is an important part of human development. No matter how had you think you should work if you deny yourself adequate sleep you could end up crashing your system and breaking down. Do you know how much sleep you need? Well, find out from this piece? This is an interesting piece that could keep you alive and healthy. Read it.

How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?

Every one has a sleep need that is likely determined by genes or genetic formation. This need is the amount of sleep our body requires for us to wake up feeling refreshed. This difference likely occurs across spectrum, with “short sleepers” needing less than average, and “long sleepers” needing more sleep.
• Every person has a natural rhythm of sleeping and waking, that is based on his daily rhythm cycle. About one-third of a person’s life is spent in this state of near unconsciousness(sleep).
What causes sleep?
• It is not known what mechanism triggers off sleep. Different theories suggest that it is due to:
1) A reduction in the amount of oxygen reaching the brain.
2) A reduction in the number of impulses reaching the conscious centres.
3) A chemical process in the brain.
4) The repeated promptings of a conditioned reflex.
5) It is also known that there are certain cell groups through out the brain which bring about sleep, when stimulated, and others that cause a sleeper to wake. A Nobel prize is waiting for any doctor or scientist who specifically pinpoints what causes sleep.

What are the daily sleep requirements for each age?

• The average amount of sleep needed changes over our lifetime, especially during childhood and adolescence. Listed below are the daily sleep requirements for each age group.
1) Infants – 3 to 11 months need 14 – 18 hours of sleep.
2) Toddlers – 12 to 35 months need 12 – 14 hours of sleep.
3) Preschoolers – 3 to 6 years need 11 – 13 hours of sleep.
4) School age – 6 to 10 years need 10 – 11 hours of sleep.
5) Adolescents – 11 to 18 years need 9 – 10 hours of sleep.
6) Adults need 7 – 8 hours of sleep.
7) Elderly adults – need less sleep 6 – 7 hours.

What are the stages of sleep?
There are two stages of sleep- 1) Orthodox sleep and 2) Paradoxical sleep(Rapid Eye Movement – REM.
1)Orthodox sleep is characterised by a fall in the heart rate, blood pressure and metabolic rate.
• Breathing is regular but slow. In light orthodox sleep, movement may occur, up to 40 changes of position at night. But in deep orthodox sleep both muscles and brain are at their most relaxed and there is no movement.
• The electrical activity of the brain becomes markedly different from the waking state. It is during this deep stage that there is a rise in the output of the growth hormone, and protein production is stepped up. The body repairs itself, and dead cells are replaced.
2) Paradoxical Sleep(REM)
• This is the stage in which dreams occur. Breathing and heartbeat become irregular, and there is Rapid Eye Movement – REM, behind the closed eyelids. Each cycle of REM takes only 90 minutes.
• The electrical activity of the brain resembles that of a waking state. Although movement may occur, the muscles are often as relaxed as in orthodox sleep, and the sleeper is just as difficult to wake.
Why do we need sleep?
• People die more quickly from lack of sleep, than they do from lack of food. A person kept awake for long periods of time, becomes increasingly disorientated, and subsequently becomes both mentally and physically exhausted.
• After 10 days of sleep deprivation death usually occurs.

What is the role of sleep in the body?

• It seems we do not sleep just because the body needs to rest. Lying down would be adequate for that. In fact the body shifts regularly during sleep, to prevent our muscles seizing up, and if we do have to do without sleep for several days, our automatic body processes can go on functioning in a fairly steady way.
• The body does not rest during sleep – but it does not seem to be sleep’s special purpose.
The brain and sleep.
• What cannot go on in a normal way, without sleep, is the brain. Lack of sleep brings irritability, irrationality, hallucinations, growing mental derangement and finally insanity, before death occurs.
• This, and the steady way body processes carry on, suggest that our feelings of physical exhaustion are also produced by the brain in its unwillingness to go on controlling the body.
• Sleep, then, “rests” the brain. But the brain’s electrical activity carries on during sleep. It certainly does not “switch-off”. So are the special deeds of the brain that are being satisfied?
What is the need to dream?
a) A famous experiment gave the answer. One group of sleepers, was woken whenever their REM sleep began, so preventing them from dreaming. They soon showed all the signs of mental disturbance.
b) Another group, woken equally but only in other stages of sleep, hardly suffered. So sleep occurs because the brain needs to dream – and when sleep is prevented, the hallucinations which eventually occur are in roughly the same pattern as dreams would occur in a sleep.
Our lesson this week – please always make out time to sleep.
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The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

22 Comments

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  1. Good piece. good sleep keeps one healthy, but lazy ones don’t use this an encouragement OK.

    quiz no:111

  2. Udogu Ogechi Victory

    This is so important.So sleeping can be this good to the body.(58)

  3. Quiz no 21. Sleep gives good health so people should learn to get enough sleep

  4. sleep should be taken serious just like the food we eat…
    quiz no 22

  5. sleep is an essential part of every human life..
    quiz no 38

  6. wonderful, normally I thought people sleep because it just part of the human nature, never knew sleeping has such health benefit. I will make sure I have a proper sleep not only at night for good.

    informational feature

  7. quiz 71
    What an informative and educative write up. Sleep is very essential for optimum performance.

  8. as the Bible say there’s time for everything….the time for academic is not the time for fun,the time for rest is not the time for continuity….sleep is very essential for the body…for the hardworking one’s it’s good to create time for resting also there s no good thing without disadvantage the same goes for sleep. sleep is very good for the body but too much of it causes another we might be aware or not aware of….. quiz (109)

  9. as the Bible say there’s time for everything….the time for academic is not the time for fun,the time for rest is not the time for continuity….sleep is very essential for the body…for the hardworking one’s it’s good to create time for resting also there s no good thing without disadvantage the same goes for sleep. sleep is very good for the body but too much of it causes another we might be aware or not aware of….. quiz(109)

  10. UMEAKU SOMTO ONYEDIKA

    Biko sleep is bae
    except Tuesday’s Wednesday’s and Thursday’s sleep in igba oooo lolz

    No.70 2016054132

  11. I never new some of this health benefit of sleep children should be well nurtured about this.

  12. Ibeh Ifunanya Cynthia

    Quiz no 118
    Ibeh Ifunanya Cynthia
    This is actually very true, we humans need at least 8hrs of sleep everyday….

  13. Anagboso chimdimma joy

    sleep enables the body perform well. one should sleep after his/her work to ensure the body takes it own rest to continue working
    quiz no:74

  14. Onuorah Adaeze Chidimma

    Sleep is indeed an essential part of human development and growth,its actually a form of healing to the body…..nice write up
    Quiz number —073

  15. God wasn’t making a mistake when he created night for sleeping. we shouldn’t joke with it. When the body needs sleep we should comply because doing otherwise will tell negatively on us. (24)

  16. wow!!! this is educative , if u deny yourself sleep u might crash down and go to the hospital where you will pay for bedrest…A word is enough for the wise
    Quiz no:28

  17. Sleep is very essential and important to humans

    Quiz no : 39

  18. sleep is act of relaxing your entire body,sleep helps to building up some certain things in every human body. quiz no 54

  19. Ezeifeka Emmanuella (112)

    Sleep is the best Meditation

  20. sleep is very crucial to the body!!!
    everyone needs it’s in our day to day lives….both young and Old!

    QUIZ NO:-113

  21. Sleep is vital but dont forget too much of everything kills

  22. Quiz number:89

    (my headline)Paradise of garri production-(massmediang)Tourism in ukwulu

    (my headline)Doomsday befalls zambian footballer_(massmediang)zambian footballer looses daughter the same day they played Nigeria.

    (my headline)Love aint got no barrier..(true love as man marries physically challanged wife)

    (my headline)Monkey pox trend a universal lie.(massmediang)na lie o.no monkey pox.

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