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How much sleep do we really need?

Tired of getting too many lectures on the number of hours you sleep? An expert panel convened by the US National Sleep Foundation has rolled out a new recommendation on how much sleep do people of different age-groups need.

Zee Media Bureau/R Nandini

New Delhi: Tired of getting too many lectures on the number of hours you sleep? An expert panel convened by the US National Sleep Foundation has rolled out a new recommendation on how much sleep do people of different age-groups need.

Excess or lack of anything has its own consequences and when it comes to such a crucial thing as sleep then one must get all the pros and cons checked before submitting to a baseless belief.

Experts have demarcated people's need for sleep keeping in mind their age group.

According to them the newborns (up to three months) need 14-17 hours of sleep each day whereas infants (four to eleven months) should get at least 12-15 hours of sleep.

Teenagers (14-17 years) need to get at least eight to 10 hours of sleep whereas adults should not sleep less than seven hours a day and nor should they exceed nine hours.

The experts ask parents to ensure that their school going children (six to thirteen years) must not get anything less than nine hours of sleep at night. It is all right for them to sleep up to 11 hours.

While 11-14 hours of sleep is recommended for toddlers of one to two years of age, children between three to five years should get 11-13 hours of sleep.

The multidisciplinary panel of experts examined findings from 320 studies reporting sleep duration for healthy individuals, effects of reduced or prolonged sleep duration and health consequences of too much or too little sleep.

"The process was very rigorous," said member of the expert panel Lydia DonCarlos, professor at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine in the US.

Parents sometimes make rigid sleep rules unaware of the fact that it actually deprives their kids of the well needed sleep. And as these kids grow up, they develop a habit of ignoring sleep for other 'better' things. But sooner or later the adverse effects starts showing on their health. Therefore, take that well needed sleep if it doesn't put your world upside down.  

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