And after you turn 30, research says you do.better when you nap, too (in addition to a good night’s rest).
How much sleep you need varies, but should be in the range of 7-9 hours (your genetics decides how much, exactly. If you feel like you need 9 hours, you probably won’t do well by cheating with 7).
After you turn 60, sleep gets harder, decade by decade. (It doesn’t mean you don’t need it—sleep’s important to many aspects of health, like heart health). Here is when you’ll reap the benefits of sleeping when you’re young: all those nights your brain was strengthening and preserving memories, as well as doing other brain maintenance that reduces your odds for dementia and other diseases.
What’s the best position to sleep in?
It turns out that “back to sleep” isn’t just for babies—it lowers sleep deaths in people with epilepsy, too. And I’m willing to bet epileptics stand out because of their diagnosed condition; people with undiagnosed conditions (who would presumably look random or as assorted “other” deaths in the data) are probably also benefitting by sleeping on their back.
You want your back position to really align your head and neck well so you can breathe easily (airflow in the room so the air is fresh and full of oxygen helps). Snoring can be a sign that you’re in a bad position (consistent snoring may indicate sleep apnea, which is worth getting treated).
Having trouble sleeping?
Keep in mind that you aren’t just aiming to be unconscious for a few hours, which is all some sleeping pills/medications accomplish.
Start with ambiance: make sure all your senses are being lulled to sleep. No vibrant citrus or coffee scented room sprays—lavender is a better choice. No blinking cellphone lights. Make your bed for sleeping, not working, playing, or lounging, so you associate it with sleep. Invest in a comfortable mattress and sheets—you’ll spend what amounts to thousands of days sleeping. Try white noise if your mind is busy.
If you want to support your nightly processes, try our Sleep Support Pack, which has minerals and herbs to support your brain.