How many hours of sleep do you really need?

How much sleep you need depends on many factors. Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. But that number differs from person to person and also changes with age.

Hours of sleep by age

Babies sleep a large part of the day, up to 17 hours. As you get older, you need less and less sleep. Pre-schoolers in a nursury class still need about 14 hours of sleep, while teenagers need 8 to 10 hours.

As an adult, 7 to 9 hours of sleep may be enough, but that also differs.

Many over-65s find that they need even less sleep: an average of 7 to 8 hours. These numbers come from the US National Sleep Foundation.

Children need a lot of sleep because sleep is necessary for the development of their brains. And even as an adult, sleep is essential for a healthy brain. While you sleep, your brain processes the impressions of the day and makes new connections. It is therefore important that you sleep well and that you sleep through the night, because your night determines your day.

How much sleep do you actually need?

How much sleep you need is very personal. Less than 7 hours a night is feasible for few people. There are many reasons why some people need more sleep than others:

  • because their work requires a lot of effort or concentration;
  • because they excercice intensively;
  • because sleep disturbances or other problems disturb their night's rest;
  • because of health problems.

How do you know if you're getting enough sleep?

Sleep deficiency builds up gradually. One short night usually doesn't have much effect. But do you sleep too little night after night? A few signs that you should sleep more:

  • you have trouble concentrating;
  • you regularly feel sleepy during the day;
  • you need coffee or other means to get through the day;
  • on days when you have the time, you sleep longer than usual.

The importance of sleep quality

If you don't sleep well, you need more sleep. So the best way to feel better, healthier and more energetic during the day is not just to get more sleep. Also take a look at how you sleep:

    • Do you have good sleeping habits?
    • Do you have a relaxing sleeping environment? Is there a certain color that calms you down?
    • Are you well? Are your bed and mattress still good?
    • Do you use your GSM or do you watch TV before going to sleep?
    • Do you find it difficult to fall asleep or do you wake up during the night
    • Is your room well ventilated?
    • Are you too hot or too cold at night?

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