How Much Sleep Do You Need To Feel Normal And Healthy?

Getting "enough sleep" is a weird concept, considering that everyone is a little bit different. What does science have to say on the matter? Just how much sleep should you be getting? And what the hell is "sleep debt"? This video explains all.

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According to the friendly science-splainers at ASAP Science on YouTube, the recommended amount of sleep you should be getting varies from person to person. Ideally, it should be 7-8 hours per night.

So what happens when you don't get your precious 8 hours of kip? Well, according to science, you're at higher risk of ending up with all the bad stuff, including heart disease, obesity and type-2 diabetes and a 12 per cent higher risk of mortality.

Worse still, prolonged periods of sleeplessness where you only get between 4 and 6 hours of sleep per night (read: gadget journalists) your thought processes are impaired to the point that they may never recover.

Don't panic, however. Scientists have found that you can recover from sleep debt over time with better nights of good sleep.

Obviously, the longer you have been keeping your body up, the longer it will take to right the ship so to speak. Check out the video below for a full scientific rundown:

How many hours of sleep per night do you get? Tell us in the comments!

WATCH MORE: Healthy Living News & Ideas

Comments

    Ideally 7 hours at night and 1 hour in the early afternoon, but let's face it, that's not likely to happen.

    >>>Worse still, prolonged periods of sleeplessness where you only get between 4 and 6 hours of sleep per night (read: gadget journalists) your thought processes are impaired to the point that they may never recover.

    Why don't you just tell Angus to back off!
    We can just read the articles at lunch time

    Also, why are possums overly protected in NSW, there's heaps of the bastards and they're the most annoying and noisiest of all aussie animals.
    It's bad enough that the sound they make when running over your roof sounds like a criminal running from police, then there's the demonic screeches they make in the middle of the night
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkncjNn-ygE

    At least cockatoos are like a backup alarm clock.

    First!

    I've just finished watching the Tour de France, so four hours sleep a night for three weeks. It's had no discernible effect on my work, but I am definitely more tired than usual.

    At best I get 6-7 hours a night (two kids under 5!), between about midnight and 6/7am with at least one wake up during the night for those kids...

    I'm in exactly the same boat as bugwan; two kids under 5, which impacts the quality of my sleep big time. From experience I know I am at my best with 9 hours.

    I spent time at uni studying sleep disorders medicine and worked in the field afterwards. I find the topic very interesting. I remember a famous study carried out at Stanford by Mary Carskadan and Bill Dement which found that the amount of sleep for optimal cognitive performance was 9 1/2 hours for 21 year olds, on average.

    I also think we can become accustomed to feeling a level of sleep restriction, to the point where we consider it normal. As a result when I hear people say "I get 5 hours sleep and feel fine" I wonder if they've just become used to it, and would in fact feel more refreshed with more sleep. I am also a little jealous :)

    I could swear Lifehacker did an article a while back saying that the whole idea of 'you need 8 hours of sleep' was complete crap and had no scientific grounding.

    Okay maybe not a 'proper' article, but a good counterpoint anyway:
    http://lifehacker.com/5933568/how-much-sleep-do-you-really-need-to-work-productively

    Last edited 30/07/14 10:02 am

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