College Students and Sleep Part 7
How much sleep is right?
So now, there are problems with most college students not getting enough sleep. And then there are problems with a some college students getting too much sleep. Just how much sleep is right?
The short answer is 7-9 hours.
Women who are done with growing and maturation, having started their growth spurt at age 10-12, will be fine with an average of 7.5-8 hours of sleep. If a woman is still possibly growing, 8-9 hours is recommended. Men who are still in their growth spurt which started at age 16-17 should have 9 hours of sleep. You may suspect continued late growth if your parents matured later than their peers.
While college students are legally defined as adults at age 18, many are still growing into physical adulthood. For women, if your breasts are still getting bigger (out of proportion to weight gain), the darkened area around the nipples are still darkening, and you keep getting more hair in the armpits and pubic area, then you're still growing. For men, if you're growing taller, your voice is deepening, your testicle are still getting bigger, the scrotum is getting darker, and more body hair is still showing up, then you're still growing.
Growth hormone is released during sleep, as well as many other hormones, some of which have not yet been discovered. It's clear that sleep is critical to growth and maturation. Most men want to be tall, and getting adequate sleep (9 hours) will help ensure maximal height.
Once a college student is full grown, then the typical adult rules follow. Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep a night. For the long answer of how much sleep is optimal, please see my previous article, How Much Sleep You Are Supposed to Get.