Sleeping in and staying in a cosy bed is absolutely wonderful, isn’t it? But how much sleep is healthy? Can a person sleep too much? The ideal sleep duration varies from person to person. On the one hand, there are night owls which are fit the next day even without sleeping in. On the other hand, there are also some marmots which press the snooze button on the alarm clock again and again in the morning. So how do you find out how much sleep is healthy for you?
- Sufficient sleep for your health
- What happens if you don’t get enough sleep?
- What happens if you sleep too much?
- How much sleep is healthy? A question of age!
- Find out how much sleep you need
Sufficient sleep for your health
When you get enough sleep, you are doing your health a favour, because sleep is a real source of energy for our body and mind. Overnight, numerous regenerative processes take place in the body, which allow us to start the new day well and give us the necessary stamina for a stressful everyday life. There is also a lot going on in the brain during sleep! Events are processed and memories are “stored”. Learned things pass from short-term memory to long-term memory.
What happens if you don’t get enough sleep?
Sufficient sleep is healthy, but too little sleep can have unpleasant consequences. If you get too little sleep for a long time, it will affect your health. Concentration difficulties and headaches are often caused by a lack of sleep. Not to mention a constant feeling of tiredness. In the worst case, lack of sleep can also lead to serious health problems. Therefore, you should consult a doctor, if you suffer from sleep disorders.
What happens if you sleep too much?
Not only too little sleep can be harmful to your health. If you can’t get out of bed at all, day in, day out, that is not a good sign either. If you are still tired after ten hours of sleep or more, it is best to have a thorough check-up, because extreme tiredness can indicate an illness. Studies have also shown that people who sleep a lot increase their risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. But: Sleeping in from time to time is allowed, of course. 😉
How much sleep is healthy? A question of age!
The recommended sleep duration is not the same for all ages! In general, one observation can be made: The older we get, the less sleep we need. Babies and toddlers have the lognest sleep duration per day – even if it doesn’t seem like it to parents because of the nightly interruptions. 😉 The reason is simple: In the first months and years, body and mind develop incredibly fast. Surely you know from your own children or your friends’ kids that the little ones learn something new almost every day and you can literally watch them grow. For this development the body and especially the brain need a lot of sleep, namely about sixteen hours a day. All the new impressions, smells, voices and sounds are then processed.
Of course, the development continues. Young children between the ages of six and thirteen need about nine to eleven hours of sleep per night. Without sufficient sleep, all the knowledge that is taught at school could not be memorized at all. So, it is better to go to bed early before a vocabulary test. 😉
Teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 need an average of eight to ten hours of sleep every night. During puberty, the body undergoes processes that change the hormonal balance – an important stage of adolescence. Therefore, parents might consider being lenient when their children want to sleep in on weekends or during the holidays!
During adulthood we need an average of seven to eight hours of sleep. Our growth is complete, but a good night’s rest is still important for body and mind. Being able to perform well at work and managing the everyday life with a family would be very difficult without sufficient sleep!
Our need for sleep decreases once again when we are approximately in our mid-sixties. Five to six hours of sleep every night are often enough for older people.
Find out how much sleep you need
The average sleep duration for the different age groups is derived from various studies, but it is not a fixed guideline for how much sleep is healthy. Instead, you should find out your ideal sleep duration individually. The best way to do so is when you have some time off and you don’t have to get up at a certain time. Go to bed when you are tired and don’t set an alarm clock. Every morning, when you wake up feeling well rested, write down your sleep duration. That way, you can calculate an average duration of sleep after just a few days – and you know how many hours of sleep your body needs. It’s good to take this as your guideline not just for the holidays, but in everyday life. Above all, listen to your body’s signals when it comes to going to bed and getting up!