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Self-help program

How much sleep is enough?

The need for sleep varies significantly from one person to the next. Feeling worried or anxious about sleep or about getting enough sleep is common.

You may worry, for example, about your work performance after a badly slept night. Worrying raises the body’s alertness level and can make it even more difficult to fall asleep.

The need for sleep is unique to each person and varies over time

It is often said that the human body needs between seven and eight hours of sleep per night. In reality, the need for sleep varies individually between five and ten hours.

The need for sleep is also different at different stages of life. Children and adolescents need more sleep than adults, and the need for sleep generally decreases with age.

The need for sleep also depends on lifestyle. Retired people need less sleep not only because of age but also because their lives tend to be less hectic and stressful. Balancing a busy working life with family is tiring and leads to a greater need for sleep.


The rule of thumb is that as long as you wake up relatively refreshed in the mornings and get through the day without feeling noticeably tired, you are getting enough sleep.