OCT 27, 2017 2:42 PM PDT

How Much Sleep Should You Be Getting?

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Americans are one sleep-deprived population - only a third of us get the minimum seven hours of sleep a night, as recommended by the CDC and the National Sleep Foundation. But how much is enough when it comes to sleep?

As it turns out, like many other health conditions, sleep is deeply personal. Some people insist on at least seven to eight hours of beauty rest, while some claim to only need four hours. Furthermore, how much sleep you need to feel rested may also depend on your stage of life. On the whole, people tend to need less sleep as they get older.

While it seems like there's no one size fits all when it comes to sleep, one thing everyone can agree on is that sleep is necessary for normal functioning. Without sleep everything goes awry - your eyes can't focus, your blood pressure skyrockets, and your brain starts to hallucinate. Keep this up and death may even occur, as is the result of a rare genetic disorder called fatal familial insomnia (FFI). This rare condition causes severe insomnia that eventually leads to dementia followed by death.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
JUL 02, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Carbon Nanolattices: Lighter Than (Atomic) Feathers, Tougher Than Diamonds
JUL 02, 2020
Carbon Nanolattices: Lighter Than (Atomic) Feathers, Tougher Than Diamonds
Carbon is known for its plentiful allotropes, such as the naturally existing graphite and diamond, as well as synthetic ...
JUL 07, 2020
Neuroscience
How Blindsight Helps Us Explain Consciousness
JUL 07, 2020
How Blindsight Helps Us Explain Consciousness
Blindsight is the phenomenon in which blind people can interact with their environments even though they can't see i ...
AUG 10, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Earth's Magnetic Field Changing Faster than Previously Thought
AUG 10, 2020
Earth's Magnetic Field Changing Faster than Previously Thought
The Earth's magnetic field is crucial for life on Earth. Generated by the molten iron core 3000 km beneath our plane ...
SEP 11, 2020
Health & Medicine
Trans Fat Regulations Protect Three Billion People Worldwide
SEP 11, 2020
Trans Fat Regulations Protect Three Billion People Worldwide
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released a progress report on its five-year initiative for the global elimi ...
OCT 07, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Discovery of Phosphine on Venus - What Does It Mean?
OCT 07, 2020
Discovery of Phosphine on Venus - What Does It Mean?
A Nature Astronomy paper in September, titled "Phosphine gas in the cloud decks of Venus", has led t ...
OCT 15, 2020
Health & Medicine
An Estimated 38 Million People were Exposed to Polluted Wildfire Smoke
OCT 15, 2020
An Estimated 38 Million People were Exposed to Polluted Wildfire Smoke
As wildfires continue to burn record-breaking acreages along the west coast of the United States and inland regions, hos ...
Loading Comments...