How much sleep do you need?
You feel like you’re always going to bed early, but when your alarm goes off, it’s hard to open your eyes and you’re in a fog all day. You may feel like no matter how much sleep you’re getting, you’re still tired. But how do you know how much sleep you need?
How much sleep you need varies by age. While newborns under three-months-old may need up to 19 hours of sleep and adults over 65 may need as little as five hours, most adults need about seven to nine hours of sleep a night. While not getting enough sleep can hurt your health in these sneaky ways, oversleeping and constantly being tired can be a sign of a problem.
What’s best, according to Dr Jacob Teitelbaum, who specialises in sleep, fibromyalgia, and pain, is to sleep the amount of time that leaves you feeling the best. “If you are needing more than 10 hours of sleep to feel restored, however, then that suggests that your sleep quality is poor and needs to be addressed,” he says.
If you’re getting enough sleep on a good schedule or are even oversleeping and still feel tired, it could be a sign of health problems.
You’re tired because…you’re oversleeping on weekends
You may think skimping on sleep during the week and oversleeping during the weekends will help you feel well-rested, but it’s actually hurting your sleep. This habit is called “social jetlag” which is brought on by shifts in your sleeping schedule during the week versus on the weekends. “Your body prefers routine, but still appreciates you making up the sleep, so it’s best to find a steady balance you can stick to,” adds Dr Teitelbaum.
You’re tired because…you’re anaemic
When you visit your doctor and complain of feeling tired all the time, the first things they’ll often check for is anaemia or thyroid disorder because you can detect those with a blood test, says Dr Amy Shah. “When a patient says ‘I’m tired,’ it’s such a broad term and could be so many things, but if someone says ‘I’m tired and feeling a little more short of breath,’ or, ‘I’m having trouble exercising,’ that tends to be anaemia.” Anaemia is when your blood doesn’t carry enough oxygen to the rest of your body and the most common cause of anaemia is iron deficiency. Anaemics may also experience feeling cold, dizzy, irritable, or have headaches in addition to feeling tired.