Eight hours – or less? Many experts don’t think much of general sleep recommendations, why men sleep more than women, and why people could also be quietly awake for an hour at night. The most important thing is that you find your own rhythm and get enough sleep for your next day’s round.
According to some experts, there is no general way to determine how much sleep a person needs. In their opinion, it is even “very dangerous” to give blanket instructions. Every person needs a “different amount of sleep.” Anyone who tries to force themselves to get eight hours, even though they don’t need that much sleep, will not succeed. Instead, the person “gets nervous about it, tenses up, and sooner or later gets into insomnia.”
According to scientists, however, it can be stated that men tend to sleep more than women. One reason for this is that men suffer more often than women from sleep apnea – a condition in which breathing stops repeatedly for short periods during sleep. Furthermore, two-thirds of men over 40 experience about 15 interruptions per hour during sleep. So it is a widespread problem.
How useful are naps?
How much and how long a person sleeps depends on two factors, according to the physician: the circadian rhythm, i.e. the internal clock, and the sleep debt. According to this, the sleep debt is usually zero in the morning and continues to increase during the course of the day – people should therefore actually become more and more tired. However, in the second half of the day, the body temperature rises, which makes people more awake again towards evening. Midday, before body temperature rises, is, therefore, the perfect time to take a nap, thus eliminating sleep debt.
While sleep debt increases during the day, it continuously decreases at night during sleep. At night, there is a moment when people have redeemed their sleep debt and could actually be awake, according to the physician. At this point, people could – in sync with the nap – have a waking time without any problems. Normally, however, people continue to sleep because the internal clock causes the body temperature to drop.
Why do we need sleep?
Here is the answer to why people sleep at all as follows: During the night, energy is recharged that is consumed during the day. During night sleep, the energy demand decreases and the metabolism shuts down. In the deep sleep phases, humans consume fewer calories than in the awake condition. Only in the REM phase, when people dream, does the brain consume more calories, according to the scientist.
Dreams do reflect consciousness. The brain is activated more randomly than in the waking state, thus things come to light that lies deeper in the consciousness or the brain structure. At the same time, memories of the day are rewound. So, if you think about dreams, you can learn more about your own fears. Thus an occupation with the own dreams is quite meaningful.