How many hours do you really have to sleep per night?


One person feels newly rested after eight hours of sleep, while the other feels great after a six-hour night. How many hours of sleep do we really need? We asked sleep expert Hans Hamburger: “People who say they only need three hours of sleep a night will automatically find themselves.”

“How much sleep you need, gradually decreases with age”, explains sleep expert Hans Hamburger of the Amsterdam Sleep Center. “A baby sleeps 2 to 4 p.m., primary school children need 11 to 12 hours a night and young people in high school take nine or ten hours. Between the ages of 20 and 25, 8 to 9 hours is the norm and if you are over 25 you need seven to eight hours of sleep per night. When you are 65, this still decreases, most people need 6.5 to 7.5 hours of sleep. “

How much sleep you need per night depends not only on your age. “Your lifestyle, physical activity and light during the day also play an important role. The more you are physically and mentally involved, the more sleep you need. And if you’re out in the open, you’ll sleep better and longer. “

Sleep deprivation? That is being overtaken

Who sleeps a night less, according to the sleep expert, the best the next day immediately catch up. “An hour of sleep deprivation is achieved by sleeping 1.5 hours longer the next day, for which you have to go to bed 1.5 hours earlier. At the beginning of the night you have the most deep sleep. Sleeping is not the way to catch up on sleep, because at the end of the night you mainly have REM sleep and almost no deep sleep, so you rest less of it. “

“People who say that they only need three hours of sleep per night will automatically find themselves”, says Hamburger. “These people have a distorted view of how they function. Due to sleep deprivation you start to dysfunction, you do not notice that yourself. People really do not last long, only if they do a powernap during the day. “

The effect of chronic sleep deprivation

Sleeping less than six hours is called chronic sleep deprivation. “Chronic sleep deprivation causes various disruptions in the functioning of the body and the brain. Your metabolism gets confused, your defense and immune system work less well and you feel irritated, drowsy, sleepy and are not alert. Good and sufficient sleep is just as important as eating and drinking to function properly. “

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