Are you getting enough sleep?

Sleep is in essence food for our brains, without it we suffer in many ways, from lack of concentration to the inability to complete basic tasks. Have you ever wondered if you are getting enough sleep? Read on to see what the experts recommend.

Early Years
In the first few years of life babies and infants need plenty of sleep to help them grow, New-borns spend the majority of their time asleep, as time progresses their amount of naps in the day time shorten and they begin to sleep for longer bursts at night.
• New-borns Aged 0-3 months. – 14 - 17 hours
• Infants Aged 4-11 months – 12 - 15 hours
• Toddlers Aged 1-2 years –11 - 14 hours

Pre School/ School age children
At this age children are very active and burn lots of energy doing their daily activities, sleep plays a major part in a child’s growth and also promotes the ability to learn new skills, This is the age when it becomes important to establish a bedtime routine to ensure they are getting the correct amount of sleep. Sleep deprivation can promote negative behaviour and mood.
• Pre-schoolers Aged 3-5 years 10 - 13 hours
• School Age children Aged 6-13 years. 9 - 11 hours

Adolescents/ young adults
Teenagers sleep patterns can be very random, they generally need more sleep to help their bodies through all the changes teenage life brings. The Biological clock of an adolescent does tend to shift later, therefore it is natural for someone of this age to not feel tired before 11pm. As they become young adults staying out late at the weekends affects their sleep patterns too. Sleep deprivation in this age group is common, in one study it found only 15% of this age group were getting enough sleep.
• Teenagers Aged 14-17 years. 8 - 10 hours
• Younger Adults Aged 18-25 years. 7 - 9 hours

Adulthood
With today’s fast paced lifestyles some adults are not getting the adequate amount of sleep required. In a study carried out by the National Institute of Health an average adult sleeps for fewer than 7 hours a night, this can have serious effects on our ability to function correctly. Older Adults still need a minimum of 7 hours sleep but this isn’t always possible, a daytime nap may help to compensate.
• Adults 26 -64 years 7 - 9 hours
• Older Adults 65 years+- 7 - 8 hours