If you ask a random person how many hours of sleep that the human body needs, they would say 8 hours, right?
The ‘8 hours of sleep a night‘ fact is actually a myth. Different people need different amounts of sleep, it all depends on many different factors such as your age and more.
In this post, we explore how much sleep you really need.
In 1964, a 17 year old boy called Randy Gardner from the USA, stayed awake for 11 days and 25 minutes, shattering the previous world record by Tom Rounds, which was 260 hours. Conducted as a part of an experiment by two high school students, they set out to report their findings as a way to one-up everyone at their school science fair, but unbeknownst to them, they would gain national attention at a time of disarray and uncertainty in American history.
What’s interesting is that while Randy became more and more sluggish and less active as the days wore by, after he had slept and got back into his routine, he had not suffered any long-term effects due to the experiment.
That being said, getting adequate amounts of sleep every night is vital for brain function and long-term endurance throughout your day.
Studies show that the average adult aged from 20-65 needs around 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Anyone 65 and over needs approximately 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
What’s interesting is the amount of sleep that newborns and infants need every night, as newborns need 14-17 hours of sleep (including naps) and infants need a little less with 12-15 hours of sleep.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, this can be a sign of insomnia and can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The NHS has a great web page on the positive effects that sleep has on the body here.
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