Sleep, the state in which we spend about a third of our life, is essential for the proper functioning of the body. It is part of the vital functions, just like breathing. However, the ideal length of a good night’s sleep changes with age.
Infants need about sixteen to eighteen hours of sleep a day. This long rest is essential for the maturation, learning and development of their brain.
Then the duration will decrease rapidly over the years. From the age of 3, between ten and twelve hours of sleep per night are necessary.
7 HOURS AVERAGE AT ADULT AGE
During puberty, from the age of 12, the duration is reduced by about two hours per night and drops to nine hours on average. The need for sleep drops again with the transition to adulthood. From the age of 20, it is necessary to stay in the arms of Morpheus for about seven hours.
However, neurologist Marc Rey recalls that the ideal length of a night varies from one individual to another. “There are short sleepers, who are content to sleep six hours, and ‘heavy sleepers’, who need nine hours or more to be in shape”, explains the specialist, president of the National Institute of sleep and alertness (INSV).
Finally, with the third age, sleep becomes lighter and more fragmented, but its total duration is not shortened, or little. In the elderly, nighttime sleep is shorter, but compensated for by more frequent and prolonged naps.
Marc Rey also specifies that the need for sleep varies according to the sex of the person. “Several studies have shown that women overall need more sleep than men, due in particular to hormonal factors,” he notes.