Sleeping is a natural state where the body is unconscious. It causes a decrease in body movement and a decrease in the ability to respond to a stimulus. Sleep allows for the body to recuperate and for the growth and repair of the various body systems. The circadian clock is an internal time keeper that controls sleep in humans and it is responsible for the regulation and release of hormones that promote sleeping and being awake. We all know that sleep is important, but it can be hard to know just how much we should be having. Let’s take a look at how much sleep an average adult needs and why it is so important to get it!
How much sleep do adults need?
It is widely accepted that adults need less sleep than babies and children. Most research suggests that adults need somewhere between 7 and 8 hours of sleep per night. However, the amount of sleep is less important than the time and type of sleep that you are getting. For example, the very best sleep is when your maximum concentration of melatonin (a hormone that controls sleep) and minimum body temperature occur after halfway through your sleep. These two factors are controlled by the internal body clock (circadian clock), which can be disrupted and cause negative effects on sleep and health in general. This means that it is a good idea to try to sleep at a very similar time every night for your body to become used to this routine.
There are many reasons that 7-8 hours of sleep is recommended for adults. The biggest factor in this recommendation is that studies have shown that too little or too much sleep can lead to significant health risks. Even still, many people happily survive on 5 hours of sleep a night, while others must get 10 hours to feel well rested. In general, if you are feeling drowsy during the day there is a good chance that you are not getting enough quality sleep at night.