How much can you sleep!?: Sleepy youth

The widespread belief that you should sleep 8 hours a day is not entirely true. In fact, experts cannot say how much it costs to devote to this pleasant and useful activity. However, they all agree that we are not sleeping at all as we should and, in fact, are subject to constant stress due to an incorrect sleep and wakefulness regime.

An interesting study on this topic was recently conducted by British scientists led by Derk-Jan Dijk. They unequivocally showed that with age, the need for sleep decreases. And besides, the inconsistency in the duration of sleep is a completely normal and healthy phenomenon, unless, of course, it leads to lack of sleep.

"The normal process of growing up is associated with a reduction in the duration of sleep, " the researchers state. And once again they note that all members of modern society suffer from sleep deprivation - that is, insufficient satisfaction of this basic need of the body and psyche. It is believed that the civilization requirements for sleep ultimately cause a lot of problems - from depression to trauma and even to shorten the life span.

Scientists studied 110 healthy volunteers who did not have any sleep disorders and did not complain of lack of sleep. Subjecting them to various fluctuations in the periods of sleep and wakefulness, under different conditions, they assessed the degree of drowsiness that the subjects showed as a result of such exposure.

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During the first night of the experiment, when the volunteers stayed in bed for 8 hours, the average duration of sleep was 7.23 hours (at the age of 20–30 years), 6.83 hours (40–55 years), and 6.51 hours (66– 83 years). In other words, the oldest group slept 20 minutes less than the average, and 43 minutes less than the youngest. It has also been shown to reduce the duration of the phases of slow sleep.

Drowsiness during wakefulness was checked by inviting volunteers to take another nap. As you know, daytime sleep is a natural and extremely useful thing, unfortunately, rarely available to modern people. Volunteers were given such an opportunity, and again the rate of falling asleep showed a dependence on age. 20–30-year-olds were “cut off”, on average, in 8.7 minutes; 40–55-year-olds in 11.7 minutes, and 66–83-year-olds in 14.2 minutes.

These data are fully consistent with the 2008 studies, when volunteers were forced to stay in bed in the dark for 16 hours a day. Then it was shown that young people slept on average 9 hours, while the elderly - only 7.5. At the same time, scientists acknowledge that there is not enough accurate knowledge about the mechanisms and functions of sleep, and so far it is impossible to say with full certainty how much sleep a particular person needs.

Read more about sleep, falling asleep - and sleeping pills - read in our article "Sleep is not in the hand."

According to LiveScience publication

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