One question that most people with sleep disorders ask themselves every morning is: How many hours did I sleep last night, or how many hours did I manage to “scrape together” this time during the long bedtime?
The magic formula of 8 hours of sleep as a guarantee for a restful night will not be heard from sleep experts. According to surveys, about 50% of the sleep-healthy population actually sleeps an average of 7-8 hours.
But there are also people, so-called short sleepers, who feel rested and fresh after only 4-5 hours, whereas late risers are only subjectively satisfied after 9-10 hours. In fact, short sleepers spend as much time in deep sleep per night as normal 8-hour sleepers.
There are morning and evening people who – to feel refreshed – should/must sleep at different times.
There are also sleep disorders in which the affected person sleeps 10-12 hours or more and still feels battered and unrecovered the next day.
The time span and the individual, mostly “acquired” needs are therefore quite broad:
Not the number of hours, but the stability (“crispness”) of the sleep profile, the adaptation to one’s own biological rhythm and the physical and mental performance the next day are decisive.
Based on previous studies by sleep scientists, it can be concluded that a normal 8-hour sleeper can manage relatively well even with 5-6 hours of sleep per night.
“Relatively well” in so far as 5-6 hours of sleep per night in the long run – with a regular sleep-wake rhythm and a healthy lifestyle – does not lead to any physical changes or damage for most people.
The performance is also not seriously affected. The person sleeps more effectively. Probably you too have noticed after more or less good nights that your tiredness during the day, regardless of the quality of the previous night, is subject to certain daytime fluctuations.
Even after a completely sleepless night, you can observe, for example, how the tormenting tiredness disappears in the morning in the morning hours and returns more strongly in the afternoon.
Such fluctuations are due to our “inner clocks”, which have a major influence on when we become tired and sleepy, whether we are hungry at the moment and much more.
The fact that we often wake up at the same time every day, and some people even wake up without an alarm clock at a certain time in the morning, is also due to these inner clocks in our brain. They control our inner biological rhythms to a large extent.
The body temperature, for example, fluctuates by about plus/minus 1 degree Celsius during a 24-hour day. When we wake up in the morning, it is still relatively low.
In the course of the day it rises and reaches its peak in the afternoon. In the evening it gradually begins to sink again and reaches its lowest point in the early morning hours.
The inner clock, which controls our temperature rhythm, also determines our sleep-wake rhythm to a large extent. Whenever the temperature curve begins to fall in the evening, we become tired.
If it rises again in the morning, the organism is activated again and we wake up. So if, for example, you go to bed in the early hours after a party, you shouldn’t be surprised if you wake up again after a very short time.
Although he has only slept for a few hours, the rising temperature in the morning and the remaining bio rhythmic activation of the body prevents him from sleeping late. Check out more details here: https://www.laweekly.com/most-comfortable-mattress/.
For some people, this close coupling between temperature rhythm and sleep-wake rhythm is not without problems: In the so-called evening people or “owls”, the temperature does not reach its maximum until one or two hours later during the day, and then falls only very slowly.
They can often still work particularly well in the evening hours, but have problems because they only get tired slowly. If they could follow their own rhythm, they would probably go to bed well after midnight.
However, if you have to get up at 7 a.m. in the morning, your body temperature has just exceeded its minimum. Accordingly, they feel “in the basement”, have teething problems, are morning sourpusses and their appetite will be even more so after a few hours.
Conversely, morning people or so-called “larks” can work particularly well in the morning because their temperature has risen early.
In contrast to evening people, “larks” have the problem that their temperature curve reaches its maximum earlier in the afternoon and “crashes” quickly and steeply in the evening.