What does research say about how much sleep time we need?

Research says different things, BUT there is a common theme that most scientists agree on: our optimum sleep times are different, depending on our age.

Here’s the breakdown, plus a few more interesting facts and resources.

How much is enough?

Here’s the ideal amount of sleep based on your age group (data provided by the Sleep Health Journal):

  • Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours
  • Young adults (18-25): 7-9 hours
  • Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours

What’s the ideal sleep time for optimal brain performance?

In adults, cognitive performance reaches a peak at 7 hours of sleep before starting to decline (data provided by the Journal Frontier in Human Neuroscience).

Why is sleep so important?

Sleep can help us learn, consolidate new memories, improve memory and recall, and give our brain time to get rid of unnecessary waste. Conversely, chronic sleep deprivation can reduce our cognitive abilities, negatively impact our concentration, slow down the learning process, and can even temporarily reduce IQ (according to the book Sleep Thieves by Stanley Coren, Professor of Psychology at University of British Columbia).

What’s the most optimal sleeping position?

Sleeping on your side. Why? It’s a way for your body’s and brain chemicals to get to work to eliminate waste. Here is how it works: the brain’s glymphatic pathway (the exchange of two fluids, the cerebrospinal fluid in your brain and the interstitial fluid in your body) helps to eliminate “brain junk,” and this process is most effective when we sleep on our side (data provided by the Journal of Neuroscience). The result? You wake up more refreshed the next day with a clear mind.

What can help you optimize your sleep?

Read up on it:

Do the numbers:

Get the right app:

Create a nighttime routine to ease you into better sleep:

Develop better relaxation habits:


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