Is there a magic answer to the question of how much sleep a person needs or how long the optimal sleep duration is?? Aren’t we all far too different in our habits and needs? Yes and no is the clear answer here. Of course, there are people who seem to get by on very little sleep and those who need an above-average amount of sleep. Sleep requirements also depend on age, of course. The older a person gets, the less sleep he needs. And yet, an American study now provides new insight.
Optimal sleep duration determined in study
The University of California, based in San Diego, conducted research for six years and involved a million people in the study. The results are clear: seven hours of sleep per night seems to be the optimal amount of sleep for adults between 18 and 64. Subjects who slept between seven and eight hours were able to improve their cognitive abilities, i.e. learn and orient themselves better. Their perception and creativity have also been increased.
All these factors worsened with less sleep – but also with too much sleep. In fact, longer sleep duration increases the risk of disease for diabetes and obesity. Too little sleep, however, has even more dramatic consequences for the entire organism. Those who ignore their body’s sleep requirements in the long term will sooner or later experience serious symptoms. For example, too little sleep reduces brain capacity, making it very difficult to concentrate during the day. It influences the blood sugar and also causes the blood pressure to skyrocket. Not to mention visual changes such as blemished and dull skin.
What role does age play?
Of course, the need for sleep also depends, as already mentioned, on age. Need infants still sleep 14 – 17 hours during the day, so it Children between 6 and 17 only sleep 8 – 11 hours. In adulthood, the average sleep requirement is 7 hours. First from the age of 65 is so that even after 5 – 6 hours of sleep Feel completely rested – however, this can also be related to the fact that as an older person, you allow yourself small naps on the sofa or in the TV chair during the day, if time allows it.
For school-age children, it is especially important to maintain the optimal sleep duration. Because during sleep, the brain works on its memory formation and stores what it has learned. What is learned and experienced during the day is stored in long-term memory. The ability to learn and remember is therefore significantly improved by a good night’s sleep. In the teen age comes to the fact that the body has to do quite a bit to regulate the hormone balance. Because in all people, various hormones are heavily active during sleep: the level of the stress hormone cortisol drops and growth hormones set about regenerating body cells and repairing tissue. Bone growth is regulated and muscle development is stimulated. Natural defense cells are also formed during sleep, which strengthen the immune system.
How long should you sleep – your own individual sleep duration?
You may know how much sleep you need to feel fit and rested. Maybe you also know whether you belong more to team owl or team lark. But if you feel like you don’t really know what’s good for you, there’s a simple test to do. You can do this yourself at home to find out. It is best to start the whole thing on vacation. This really gives you the peace of mind to fully engage with your body’s needs without the pressure of deadlines and alarm clocks. Go to bed 3 days in a row when you are tired. Ideally, you should avoid alcohol and nicotine on these evenings so as not to falsify the results. Then just sleep until they wake up by themselves and rested. Add up the hours of sleep of all three nights and divide them again by 3 to get an average value. This value is your optimal sleep duration through which you Now know how long you should sleep and how much sleep you need.
If you then, in addition to your optimal number of hours, pay attention to a sleeping environment that is as beautiful as possible, in which you feel comfortable and which gives you peace and relaxation, nothing will stand in the way of a high quality of sleep.
How much sleep is needed at an older age?
How our need for sleep changes.
The older we get, the more our sleep patterns change during the day. But: Does this just happen? Let’s influence? Why is sleep so different with age? Fact: With aging, many processes in the body change, slowing down. In addition, when you stop working, the day-night rhythm you had maintained for years almost automatically shifts as well.
For most people, the amount of time they spend outdoors each day is now decreasing. This means that they are exposed to much less direct daylight than in the past – but this is precisely what is important when it comes to regular sleep rhythms. So it happens that older people go to bed earlier than necessary and after a few hours of sleep in the middle of the night are suddenly wide awake and rested. Because for healthy older people over 70, the sleep time and optimal sleep duration per night is about. 6 – 8 hours. If you go to bed at around 8 or 9 p.m., you will be through with the night between 3 and 5 a.m.
Strategies for a healthy sleep.
Do you have to come to terms with these changed conditions?? Not at all. Because before it becomes really problematic, there’s a lot you can do to get back to a regular night’s sleep. In general, it is important to keep moving in old age. Of course, this not only benefits better sleep, but also the entire organism. But regular activities, preferably outside in the daylight, help to get back to a natural rhythm.
In the bedroom itself, you can also create good conditions. For example, ensure a quiet and relaxed sleeping environment where they feel completely at ease. If you have problems falling asleep or sleeping through the night, do not have a television or music system in the bedroom, rather allow for good ventilation and a pleasant darkening of the room. A room temperature between 16 and 18 degrees is optimal.
When choosing the right mattress, professional advice is useful. Where do you need support, what kind of mattress suits your sleeping habits and above all: what do you find comfortable? Because ideally, the mattress compensates at night for the very problematic aspects that prevent you from restful sleep, such as back or neck pain.
The need for sleep does not decrease.
Even if you feel that way: Older people do not need less sleep than other adults. However, sleep is distributed differently throughout the day. The fact that many older people go to bed early and wake up just as early means that they often have little lows throughout the day and take a nap here and there. So if grandpa falls asleep while reading aloud to his grandson, it’s only because he was probably up quite early. And now, at times of the pension, also simply the possibility has to hold some Powernaps over the day distributed.
What actually changes over time, however, is the proportion and duration of sleep phases. Older people dream less, deep sleep phases decrease. Of course, this also means that sleep is no longer quite as restful and refreshing, you wake up more often and feel disturbed more quickly – but this is a completely normal process of biological changes in the body. By the way, these age-related changes cannot be remedied by drugs such as sleep aids. On the contrary. These drugs disrupt the natural processes in the body and can even more cause sleep disorders.
It makes much more sense to develop a sleep ritual. Maybe taking a short walk in the evening, reading a few pages in your favorite book, drinking a cup of tea or hot milk with honey and going to bed at the same time if possible. This is how you teach your body to sleep – it’s simply a creature of habit.
And if you then invest some love in the furnishing of your bedroom, you will enjoy the time there even when not sleeping. Beautiful colors, pleasant materials, the right plants and comfortable furniture will ensure that you can fully relax here. Even with eyes open.
A waterbed offers many advantages as well as disadvantages. Whether this sleeping pad is the right choice for you depends on your individual preferences and habits.