January 9, 2014
In a 24-hour day, a person spends approximately eight hours sleeping. Therefore, on average, people spend 1/3 of their lives asleep. Imagine that! If you get to live to be 100 years old, then you’ve approximately spent three whole decades drooling on your bed mattress. Amazing, huh?
Sleep is something that will always stick to you as long as you’re alive. It’s like breathing and eating. From your first birthday to the day that you’re “put to sleep” in a poetic meaning, it’ll always be your best friend. But have you ever thought of how a person’s sleeping schedule slowly shifts and changes in relation to that person’s age? Well, that’s what I’m going to tell you about in this article, stage by stage.
As it’s commonly known, babies sleep a lot. It’s totally understandable since spending more than half a year inside a womb is a radical contrast to a day-night schedule. So it takes a lot of transitioning.
Babies sleep for up to 16 hours until they’re around 4 weeks old. The number of hours they spend sleeping slowly diminishes to 12 hours on average when they reach three years of age. Note, however, that the number of hours is a sum of naps during the day in addition to the time spent at night.
The reason for this sleeping pattern is obvious. This is the stage in a person’s life when the body experiences the highest percentage of growth. By the time the child turns five years old, his or her body weight has grown by around 400%. The factor is mainly internal.
This is the stage in life in which the reasons for sleep slowly changes from internal factors to external ones. Children start to play games and start to get more physical in exploring the world around them. Anyone can notice how energetic children can become.
However, what comes up during the day usually makes up for it during the night. Napping is still encouraged, but the amount of sleep done at night starts to resemble how it will be spent during adolescence and all the way into those teenage years. However, when the teenage years come, the sleeping pattern starts to vary mainly due to external factors such as social and academic activities.
Most of you know how sleep is during adulthood. It’s all a balancing act of responsibilities during this stage. You start to view sleep less and less as a luxury and more and more as a refuelling station to reinvigorate your tired bodies for the sake of continuing your activities for the following day.
On average, working adults spend 7 hours per night for sleep. In comparison to those teenage years, the factor is still largely external, but it’s mostly for work and grown-up responsibilities.
Once a person officially turns senior, a whole shift in lifestyle changes. Life starts to seem slower, and it’s so easy to marvel at how quickly time flies. At this age, the sleeping pattern starts to change, but the circadian rhythm is still the same. In stark contrast to new-born babies, elders sleep less. They spend less time in “deep sleep”, dreaming less as a consequence.
Waking up extremely early starts to be common; however, bedtime remains at the same time of the night. That gives them more time to enjoy every waking moment before their ultimate rest is reached.
There you have it. It’s a simple overview, and hopefully it’s enough to provide insight for you. These changes aren’t permanently absolute, but knowing how everyone else experiences them will serve as a guide. But no matter which stage in life you’re in, you’re still entitled to enjoy your night and to be comfortable in sleeping, right? That’s why comfort transcends all ages and all walks of life. So enjoy it as much as you can! Sweet Dreams!