Sleep is definitely a luxury, especially for busy working adults, that some fitness centers have even begun offering nap classes in order to improve its patrons' well-being.
As part of the program, the center also removes external factors that interfere with the natural sleep cycle for better sleep quality.
A recent published study, however, emphasized just how important sleep is to humans, especially to those with metabolic syndrome who face a larger risk of dying from heart disease or stroke.
Sleep Or Increased Risk Of Death
A new study by the American Heart Association found that individuals exhibiting risk factors for heart disease must be able to get at least six hours of sleep each night. According to the research, people with metabolic syndrome already have a higher risk of dying from heart disease or stroke but those who get less than six hours of sleep doubles the likelihood of death.
"It is possible that people with metabolic syndrome and short sleep have more severe problems related to their anatomic nervous system and metabolism," study lead researcher Julio Fernandez-Mendoza said.
How Much Sleep Is Enough Sleep?
Of course, we already know that "enough" sleep is subjective since not everyone shares the same physical and mental conditions. Likewise, lack of sleep is not a debt that can be repaid by sleeping longer the next day or getting in more sleep before some particularly busy nights.
It is common knowledge that eight hours of sleep is the benchmark; however, some people who sleep less still wake up more refreshed than those who get at least eight hours of sleep. So just how much sleep do we need to get every 24 hours in order for it to be considered enough?
The National Sleep Foundation created a chart with its updated official recommendations for sleep durations within certain age groups. Of course, we already know that newborns and infants should have about 12 to 17 hours of sleep since it is important for their development. Toddlers and preschoolers, on the other hand, need approximately 10 to 14 hours of sleep.
School age children from 6-13 years old need about at least nine hours of sleep and 11 hours at most, while teenagers up to 17 years old should get between 8 and 10 hours of undisturbed sleep. Younger adults aged 18 to 25 and adults aged 26-64 need about seven to nine hours of sleep, while older adults who are 65 years old and above — a new category — require seven to eight hours of sleep.
Take a look at NSF's full chart below.
If you would notice, the NSF does not recommend less than seven hours of sleep in any of the age range so the study's recommendation of at least six hours of sleep is already pushing the limits for our bodies.
If you're consistently having trouble reaching the required length of sleep despite optimal snoozing conditions, experts suggest consulting a doctor to determine if there is an underlying medical cause.