Are you getting enough sleep?

A person sleeps on a couch at a terminal at Newark Liberty International Airport following an overnight snowstorm, which forced the cancellation of most flights out of the airport, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, in Newark, N.J.

A person’s optimal amount of sleep depends on age and lifestyle.

There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep – but what does that really mean?

It turns out the answer depends not only on your age, but also on your lifestyle. And at the end of the day it comes down to this: Are you healthy, clearheaded and productive? Some people are productive and happy with fewer hours of sleep, while others need more.

Still, experts can determine guidelines that work for most people. The National Sleep Foundation researched the topic and released new recommendations this week, and created a new age-group category of “young adults,” or those 18 to 25. The foundation acknowledges that sleep needs will vary – lifestyle and stress should be taken into account – but the recommendations, the group says, offer a “rule of thumb.”

To create the recommendations, a panel of sleep and medical experts reviewed 312 articles from journals published during the last decade.

“This is the first time that any professional organization has developed age-specific recommended sleep durations based on a rigorous, systematic review of the world scientific literature relating sleep duration to health, performance and safety,” Dr. Charles Czeisler, a professor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School and chairman of the board of the National Sleep Foundation, said in a statement.

Health factors, including obesity or caffeine use, can impact whether a person sleeps well. A lack of sleep also can be linked to weight gain, because sleep deprivation causes an increase in appetite, according to the foundation.

It can also have negative consequences on the brain. People who do not get enough sleep are at increased risk for depression and substance abuse, and can endanger others. Those that become sleepy while driving, for example, risk both their lives and the lives of those around them.

“There is strong evidence that sufficient shortening or disturbance of the sleep process compromises mood, performance and alertness and can result in injury or death,” researchers Michael H. Bonnet from the Sleep Research Society and Donna L. Arand of the Kettering Medical Center in Ohio said in a report about sleep deprivation. “In this light, the most common-sense ‘do no injury’ medical advice would be to avoid sleep deprivation.”

Researchers also have found in the past that too much sleep can have negative effects. Low socioeconomic status and depression reportedly are significantly associated with longer sleep.

However, research on oversleeping is still found to be inconclusive and needs more attention, as peer-reviewed studies have appeared to disagree on how or even whether to approach patients who sleep too much.

“Currently, there is no strong evidence that sleeping too much has detrimental health consequences, or even evidence that our bodies will allow us to sleep much beyond what is required,” Kristen Knutson, an assistant professor at the University of Chicago, said in a statement. “There is laboratory evidence that short sleep durations of four to five hours have negative physiological and neurobehavioral consequences. We need similar laboratory and intervention studies to determine whether long sleep durations (if they can be obtained) result in physiological changes that could lead to disease before we make any recommendations against sleep extension.”

Other research has shown that a group of people who slept seven hours had a lower mortality rate after six years than those who slept both more and less.

This article is digested from, written by Kimberly Leonard. Spring Hometextile is a mattress protector manufacture.

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