The amount of sleep you need is largely affected by your age, in general younger people need more sleep and older people can get away with less. The difference in the amount of sleep you need to maintain a healthy mind and body at different ages is significant.
For example teenagers need more sleep than adults. From ages 6-13 you should aim for around 9-11 hours of sleep a night. At 18 the amount of sleep you need drops to 7-9 hours a night, which then remains as the recommended amount of sleep for the rest of your life.
Sleep Needed by Age
What can happen if you don't get enough sleep?
The negative impact from not getting enough sleep can be more than one would think. Not getting enough sleep can raise your blood pressure, lower your sex drive, put you at a higher risk of diabetes and even affect your balance.
The quality of sleep you get is arguably just as important as the amount. If you are tossing and turning all night and never fall into deeper REM sleep you will not experiece the rejuvenating affects that sleep has on the brain and body.
Why do I still feel tired after sleeping for a long time?
The main reason people will still feel tired even after getting the recommended amount of sleep is that the quality of their sleep is lacking. Conditions such as sleep apnea, where one stops breathing while they are sleeping, can interrupt the cycle of sleep preventing the brain from falling into a deeper state of sleep.
If you still feel tired after getting long nights of sleep it might be time to talk to a doctor about getting a sleep study done. A sleep study is when your sleep is monitored all night by a team of professionals to see what might be going wrong with your sleeping process. Sleep studies can be helpful for understanding how to get better sleep and if you may need to use a CPAP machine to help treat your sleep apnea.
How can I improve my sleep?
Once you have figured out what is causing your poor sleep you can take stes to remedy it. If you find that you have sleep apnea there are natural solutions that can help you. If you are over weight you will wan't to consider taking steps to lose it as being overweight is a common cause of sleep apnea.
You may also want to try altering your sleeping position. Doctors recommend that people with sleep apnea sleep on their sides, this position presents the least complications for breathing during the night.
The worst position you can sleep in if you suffer from sleep apnea or snoring is on your back. By sleeping in this position you increase the chances of your airways getting clogged which will cause sleep apnea and snoring.