Are You Getting Your ZZZs? Try the Sleep Calculator
When Sioux Falls was recently named as one of the Strongest Cities in America by Men's Health, it wasn't just a recognition of something physical, but rather a combination of a number of factors, including one very important one - quality sleep.
From the day we are born, a good night's rest is crucial to our development which is why Mic.com says newborns should get as many as 17 hours of sleep a day and why even as teenagers our bodies need a good solid ten hours of shuteye.
It's not until we reach adulthood that we can get by on seven to eight hours of sleep a night.
So how can you know exactly how much sleep is best for your body?
Try a sleep calculator.
WellAndGood.com recommends a couple that will help you determine your optimum 'slumber number'.
The first, the SleepingOcean calculator, helps you figure out not just the number of hours you need as well as the precise time of day and night you should sleep and wake for optimal sleep.
Based on the information I submitted on their website, it recommended that I hit the sack at 10:15 PM for five sleep cycles and 7.5 hours of rest overall.
Another choice is the StartSleeping sleep calculator, which has you enter your age for precision and greater insight. Their plan for me involved a lot more sleep (90 minutes more) and going to bed at 8:45 PM for six sleep cycles and nine hours of rest.
Experts acknowledge that as we get older our ever-changing hormones make it increasingly difficult to get good, quality, uninterrupted sleep.
They suggest using sleep tracking apps to collect data on exactly how much we toss and turn each night. They also recommend white noise apps, sound machines, and smart alarm clocks to help us get the rest we so desperately need.