Optimal sleep duration: How much sleep per day is healthy?
How many hours of sleep do we need to get a good start to the day? On the one hand, there are people who feel well rested after just 5 hours, while others have to force themselves out of bed after 8 hours. But how much sleep a day is really healthy? You can find out everything about optimal sleep duration in our new blog post.
Sleep is essential for life. We spend around a third of our lives asleep. During sleep, body cells are renewed, hormones are produced, energy reserves are replenished and information is processed.
- Both too much and too little sleep have a negative effect on health
- 6 to 8 hours of sleep a day is the healthiest
- The amount of sleep you need also depends on your age
- Improve your sleep with our sleep product
Both too much and too little sleep have a negative effect on health
Various studies show that both too little and too much sleep have a negative effect on health. For example, a study from Canada analysed around 117,000 test subjects from 21 countries. The study participants were asked to provide information on their sleep duration, lifestyle and health status for almost 8 years.Long sleepers who slept more than 8 hours a day were usually more physically inactive and exhibited unhealthy eating behaviour. They were therefore more likely to suffer from diseases such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Test subjects who slept less than 6 hours a day were more likely to suffer from concentration disorders, cognitive impairment and low mood. However, they were almost as likely to suffer from diseases such as diabetes and obesity. One of the reasons for this is that a short period of sleep activates areas of the brain that are involved in regulating food intake. A short sleep duration is also said to be associated with an increased risk of depression in adolescents.At the end of the study, the long sleepers in particular had suffered a stroke or a heart attack. In contrast, the short sleepers were more frequently involved in accidents - a sign that they were unable to concentrate due to too little sleep.
The Cancer Prevention Study in San Diego investigated the relationship between sleep duration and mortality in over 1.1 million men and women. Here, subjects who slept more than 8 hours and less than 6 hours had the highest mortality risk.
6 to 8 hours of sleep a day is the healthiest
Various studies have come to the conclusion that the optimal sleep duration is between 6 and 8 hours. According to studies, people who sleep for this length of time have the fewest health problems. A sleep duration of 6 to 8 hours a day is therefore associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. The Cancer Prevention Study shows that participants who slept 7 hours a night had a lower mortality rate than those who slept more or less.
Not to forget that it is not only the length of sleep that is important for health, but also how well you sleep through the night.
The amount of sleep you need also depends on your age
You don't have to strictly adhere to the sleeping times listed above. Because everyone has their own individual sleep rhythm. There are people who can cope with both less and too much sleep and are still healthy. Age also influences the length of sleep. For example, the daily sleep duration decreases with increasing age. It is therefore normal for children under the age of 12 to need 9 to 11 hours of sleep a day in order to be productive; teenagers, by comparison, need 8 to 10 hours a day. People over the age of 65 only need 5 to 6 hours to start the day feeling rested. The optimum sleep duration of 6 to 8 hours therefore only applies to adults aged 18 to 64 years.
Note: The need for sleep can only be compensated for to a limited extent. So if you sleep little during the week, you won't be able to make up for it at the weekend. You should therefore try to get enough sleep every night.
Improve your sleep with our sleep product
Many people take sleeping tablets to improve their sleep. However, sleeping pills have various side effects and a very high addiction potential; in contrast, our herbal sleep capsules with calming ingredients such as valerian and hop flowers. You can find more information about the products here.
Important: If you are unable to sleep well for a longer period of time, please consult your doctor.
- Widome R. et al. (2019): Correlates of short sleep duration among adolescents. Journal of Adolescence, Volume 77, Pages 163-167 .
- St-Onge M.-P. (2016): Sleep Duration and Quality: Impact on Lifestyle Behaviours and Cardiometabolic Health. Circulation, Volume 134, Number 18.
- Kripke D. F. (2002): Mortality Associated With Sleep Duration and Insomnia. Arch Gen Psychiatry, Volume 59, Number 2, Pages 131-136.
- Wang C. (2019): Association of estimated sleep duration and naps with mortality and cardiovascular events: a study of 116 632 people from 21 countries. European Heart Journal, Volume 40, Issue 20, Pages 1620-1629.
- Rangaraj V. R. and Knutson K. L. (2016): Association between sleep deficiency and cardiometabolic disease: implications for health disparities. Sleep Medicine, Volume 18, Pages 19-35.
- Reutrakul S. and van Cauter E. (2018): Sleep influences on obesity, insulin resistance, and risk of type 2 diabetes. Metabolism, Volume 84, Pages 56-66.