Most Americans should snooze more.

How many hours of sleep do we really need? As the daily routine of people has changed, so have their sleeping patterns progressed to shorter resting periods. Even though busy lifestyle can have a huge effect on your sleep, WebMD reports, that age, sex and health can be factors as well.

Most adults need about 7.5–8 hours of sleep per night, as WebMD reports. Many people do function on less (6h) or more (9h), which mostly depends on ones genetics. Interestingly, recent Gallup survey reports that only 59% of Americans get seven or more hours of sleep, while 40% get only six or less hours of sleep.

People tend to change their sleeping patterns when they move from teenage years to adulthood, and they end up sleeping lighter. As aging is an effect on your sleep, so is your health, which go hand in hand. For an example, heart conditions have been linked to insomnia and vice versa.

The article mentions that men have usually more problems with sleep when compared to women. Apparently, men have more tendencies to sleeping disorders when they age, since with every decade it becomes more and more common to have insomnia, circadian rhythm disturbances, sleep apnea and etc. On the contrary, for women, these sleeping disorders usually do not occur until pregnancy or menopause.

Importance of sleep has also raised awareness in doctors. As the survey states, medical studies have related lack of sleep to many health issues. Healthline reports, that sleep deprivation can have an affect on your body short term, but over a longer period of time it can lead to chronic problems. Sleep affects your body’s defense-, central nervous-, immune-, digestive-, cardiovascular- and respiratory system. This may lead to diseases as depression, diabetes, obesity and even stroke.

Even though busy lives are getting ahead of us, it is important to get your rest, which might save you from sickness later. To figure out your perfect amount of sleep it is useful to sleep in and have your ‘body clock’ wake you up naturally. This would be the best option figuring out the perfect amount of sleep for your body. For sleep issues, WebMD recommends to cure them with alternative options before medications, yoga and breathing exercises are some of the few they suggest.

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