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How Much Sleep Do I Really Need?

The purpose of this blog is to promote Health and Wellness to parents and their children. Our job as physicians is to do exactly this and additionally improve the quality of life of everyone that I come into contact with.

How much sleep do we really need? This is a question I get a lot from children and adult patients. We know a child requires more sleep than adults, but how much more? Is 8, 9, or 10 hours enough?

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine published guidelines in 2016 to help everyone with the above question. These guidelines are also supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Below, is a figure that shows the appropriate amount of time for sleep that is needed.

That is great; I know I need 7+ hours of sleep and my goddaughter should have 10-13 hours of sleep. What happens if I don’t get that amount? Well, some of us feel and act like the Walking Dead or The Night of the Living Dead. But, there is so much more effected by sleep deprivation, like:

  • Trouble with thinking and concentration

  • Your problem solving skills… well there is none

  • You’re more accident prone

  • Yes the lack of sleep can make you klutzy

  • High prone for memory issues

  • Don’t be mad at your spouse for forgetting … it may be the lack of sleep

  • Mood changes

  • Weakened immunity

  • Have trouble fighting off colds and illnesses

  • Increased risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, & gaining weight easily

  • Low sex drive

  • Enough said…

A study from 2010 in the journal of Sleep found that those adults who sleep less than 7 hours per night have a 12% increased risk of death. Sleep more so you can avoid feeling like a zombie and being six feet under. I leave you with this final thought:

  • A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.

~ Irish Proverb

John Bishara did his training in pediatrics, and pursued further subspecialty training in pulmonology and sleep medicine. He was born and raised in Jersey City, NJ. John’s hobbies are all sports, WWE, travel, and sleep. He would like to thank and acknowledge Dr. Raj Dasgupta for allowing him to have this platform to promote health, wellness, and quality of life improvements.

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