How much sleep you really need each night

A recent survey by app company Sleep Cycle found that South Africans spend an average of seven hours and 20 minutes sleeping, each day.

The data, which was based on the sleeping habits of 5,300 respondents across the country, showed that the average bedtime for most of these South Africans is around 23:00.

The average waking time is 6:20 – making South Africans some of the earliest risers in the world.

This may also be the ideal amount of time one should be sleeping according to a 2017 study conducted by the Brain and Mind Institute at Western University in Canada.

The study tracked more than 44,000 people and their sleeping patterns over a three-day period, with the participants also undergoing a series of cognitive and neurological tests.

It was also unique in that it focused on real-life conditions – as opposed to the majority of other sleep studies which take place in a lab.

Speaking to Inc, research associate Conor Wild explained that the results show that most people ideally need between seven and eight hours of sleep each night.

“We found that the optimum amount of sleep to keep your brain performing at its best was between seven to eight hours every single night. That corresponds to what doctors will tell you, you need to keep your body in tip top shape as well,” Wild said.

He said that those who exceed the maximum suggested sleep time ware equally as impaired as those who sleep too little.

Wild said that the researchers were not 100% sure why this was the case, adding that he would continue to analyse the massive trove of data for answers.

“We have a lot more that we’re going to do with this data because we collected a lot of other information that we even haven’t managed to look at yet.”

Read: Big increase in the cost of UK visas will hit South Africans hard

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How much sleep you really need each night