Humans spend about a third of their lives in “sleep”. You can tell how necessary sleep is when you lack it. You can hardly concentrate because of all the tiredness. But How much sleep does the human need exactly?
The longer the sleep deprivation, the more extreme the consequences. The brain perceives visions, shadows and sounds that do not exist. The individual need for sleep depends largely on the genetic make-up. There are people who can get by on five hours of sleep, while others need ten hours to feel well rested.
Sleep researchers have found that people in Western countries sleep an hour less on average than they did 20 years ago. They were also able to show that those who sleep too little perform less during the day – and often don’t even notice it. Because you can get used to too little sleep. This leads to a paradoxical phenomenon: the more people work, the less they sleep. The longer the working hours, the more frequent are sleep disorders, analyzed the scientists of the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. But only those who have had a good rest can achieve their full potential.
How much sleep does the human need now?
Seven hours of sleep
A lot of research shows that most people need seven to eight hours of sleep. As a rule of thumb: If you can work while sitting for long periods of time without getting sleepy, you have found your personal sleep quota.
Get to know your sleep needs
Holidays are a good way to find out your individual sleep needs. Always go to bed at the same time in the evening and not set an alarm clock. Do not get up until you feel awake and well rested. Then write down how long you slept each night. From this you can read your personal sleep quota, which should also be adhered to during the working week.
Missing sleep can be made up for
Sometimes sleeping just doesn’t work out. Fortunately, a lack of sleep can be made up for. This is shown by a study by the American sleep researcher David F. Dinges from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and his colleagues. Anyone who really sleeps in after a few short nights regains a lot of strength. However, you are only really fit again when you have had enough sleep for several days.