OPINION - Talking Point: What is the perfect amount of sleep per night?

·1-min read
It might be time to set a later alarm  (Shutterstock)
It might be time to set a later alarm (Shutterstock)

Elon Musk might make more money while he sleeps than the rest of us will make in our entire waking lives, but he says six hours is enough for him. No doubt he’s refreshing his Twitter feed the moment he wakes up.

Not for the similarly super-rich Jeff Bezos though. He professes to aiming for eight hours sleep per night, claiming that extra waking hours may only cause tiredness leading to poorer decisions. Just hope he doesn’t get woken by a knock at the door to take in an Amazon delivery…

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have attempted to put this matter to bed with a study of nearly 500,000 adults aged between 38 and 73. They concluded that seven hours of sleep is the optimum amount - no more, no less.

Prof Barbara Sahakian, from Cambridge University’s department of psychiatry, said: “Getting a good night’s sleep is important at all stages of life, but particularly as we age.

“Finding ways to improve sleep for older people could be crucial to helping them maintain good mental health and wellbeing and avoiding cognitive decline, particularly for patients with psychiatric disorders and dementias.”

So it seems getting eight hours sleep might be a tired old notion. However, if you’re lucky enough to have three days off this weekend, it might take some convincing to leave your usual alarm on.

What is the perfect amount of sleep per night? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below for the chance to be featured on the ES website.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting