How to Get the Perfect Night’s Sleep

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How much sleep do we need?

We usually stay conscious and alert for around 16 hours a day, then asleep for around eight. Scientists think that without the control of the circadian rhythms, we would tend to catnap each time ‘sleep pressure’ builds up. Incidentally, cats do it the other way around – they tend to sleep for 15-16 hours in stretches through the day, hence the term cat-napping, then are most active at dusk and dawn.

Now, we have all heard tales about celebrities who claim to be able to get by with remarkably little amounts of sleep. President Donald Trump claimed in a 2004 book to get by on four hours a night, and so did Mrs Thatcher. Winston Churchill apparently got by on 5-6 hours per night, but ‘power-napped’ during the day, sometimes for an hour or more.

Whatever the truth of these claims, people get by with varying amounts of sleep, and have different sleep habits – some go to bed early and rise early, others are ‘nightowls’, going to bed late and rising late.

Sleep Fact

Researchers at the University of California think that some people have a gene which enables them to function perfectly well on six hours of sleep a night – but it is very rare, appearing in less than three percent of the population. For the other 97 percent of us, six hours of sleep just isn’t enough, and children and teens need even more.

The only real answer to how much sleep we need is; – however much it takes for us to feel refreshed, alert and vibrant all day.

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