Sleep is the time when your body slows down to work on improving and maintaining overall health and well-being. If you are waking up tired or asking yourself, “Why don’t I feel well-rested?” in the morning, it’s time to look at the quantity and quality of your sleep. Here’s an overview of how much sleep you actually need and factors (such as sleep-disordered breathing) that can affect the overall quality of your sleep.
How much sleep do I need?
The ideal amount of sleep to feel well-rested varies from person to person. However, in general, there are some common ranges for the number of hours of sleep we need each night, depending on our age. Other factors that may influence the ideal hours of sleep include lifestyle (for example, if you work long shifts or exert your body throughout the day) or current health (such as if you have a condition that requires extra sleep). On average, here are the recommended hours of sleep by age:
|Age Range||Recommended Hours Per Day|
|Newborn||0-3 months old||14-17 hours|
|Infant||4-11 months old||12-15 hours|
|Toddler||1-2 years old||11-14 hours|
|Preschool||3-5 years old||10-13 hours|
|School-age||6-13 years old||9-11 hours|
|Teen||14-17 years old||8-10 hours|
|Young Adult||18-25 years old||7-9 hours|
|Adult||26-64 years old||7-9 hours|
|Older Adult||65 or more years old||7-8 hours|
How can I tell if I’m getting enough sleep?
It can be difficult to tell if you’re getting enough sleep. You may be getting the right number of hours, but don’t quite feel 100%. It’s wise to listen to your body and ask yourself the big question: Do I feel tired?
If you find yourself answering ‘yes’ to this question day after day, regardless of the number of hours of sleep you got the night before, there may be something going on that’s disrupting your sleep. If you’re suspicious that your sleep is disrupted, you can also ask yourself these questions:
- When I wake up, do I still feel tired?
- Do I have trouble focusing during the day?
- How frequently do I doze off during the day?
- Am I irritable during the day?
- Am I feeling depressed or anxious during the day?
- Does your child have trouble concentrating or struggle with hyperactivity?
Answering these questions will give you some insight into whether or not you’re getting enough sleep.
What if I still don’t feel well-rested after getting enough sleep?
If you answered yes to any or all of those questions – especially if you find yourself exhausted days in a row, you are probably not getting enough quality sleep. If you’re constantly waking throughout the night (whether you’re aware of it or not), your body doesn’t have time to rest.
Frequently night wakings happen for a variety of reasons, but one major one is sleep-disordered breathing. Sleep-related breathing is not a single condition but can be a group of disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, snoring, and upper airway resistance syndrome. All of these conditions are caused by anatomical airway collapse and altered respiratory control mechanisms as well as a weak muscular response. In other words, when your airway is obstructed in any way, your sleep can be interrupted and negatively affected.
In addition to feeling tired even after getting a full night’s sleep, sleep-disordered breathing has some common indicators. You can get a good idea if you’re suffering from sleep-disordered breathing by answering ‘yes’ to one or more of these questions:
- Is my mouth dry after waking up?
- Do I snore at night? [Snoring is not normal, contrary to common belief!]
- Am I grinding my teeth at night?
- Do I suffer from constant headaches?
- How many times do I get up during the night to visit the bathroom?
What can I do if I think I have a sleep-related breathing disorder?
Finding the root cause of your symptoms is always the best starting point. However, you can start by asking yourself the questions above and by keeping a journal or log of the hours you sleep and any symptoms you feel. You can also consider investing in a sleep tracker. There are a wide variety of sleep trackers available. Depending on the type, you can strap it to your wrist, clip it on your pillow, or set it on your bedside table..
We are here to help. Schedule a virtual airway assessment.
Are you getting enough sleep, but still don’t feel well-rested? If you think you might have a sleep-related breathing disorder, schedule a virtual consultation with Dr. Turner and we’ll help you find rest and relief.
Want to learn more about sleep and airway health? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders.