Sleep in your twenties
Most of us remember our twenties as formative years - we graduated from university, took our first job, or even started a family… and for those still in this decade, the world is more demanding than ever. Your twenties are when you start pulling yourself together, decide where the rest of your life is going, and probably make a few big decisions (not just what to have for dinner).
On top of all that, looking after your sleep health is a big priority. After all, those all-nighters don’t come without a price. So, how much sleep do young adults need?
How much sleep you need in your twenties
When you were a teenager, you generally needed 9.5 hours of sleep every night (although you probably got less in practise). Well, that changes now. People in their twenties can get by on less - experts recommend between seven and nine hours depending on your individual circumstances.
Research shows that many people in their early twenties only get around six hours, especially if they’re working towards something big during their waking hours. Maybe you want to impress someone on your graduate programme, you’re trying to advance your already-established career, or you’re saving for something big like a house deposit. While these are all important goals, remember that getting enough shut-eye will pay off in the long run, from helping you stay healthy and happy to improving your relationships.
How your sleep changes in your twenties
We’ve established that you don’t need as much sleep as a teenager once you hit your twenties, but there are some far bigger changes. The most noticeable one is the common shift from being a night owl to an earlier riser.
You become a morning person
It’s all to do with our internal clock and the hormones that tell us when we feel tired and when we should be wide awake. The reason so many adolescents find it hard to get out of bed in the morning isn’t really about laziness (most of the time) - it’s the way they’re built. Your sleep pattern in your twenties sees a big shift here. Everyone’s different, but many people now feel more alert in the mornings and tired in the evening.
Socialising (possibly too much)
‘Social jet lag’ is likely to rear its head in your twenties. That’s the feeling you get when you have lots of socialising (or work) to do, but your body doesn’t agree that you should be awake that long. Many young adults end up skipping sleep to prioritise other things, which can lead to long-term sleep deprivation.
You have lots of sleep hormones
This is the good news - you still have amazingly high levels of the hormones that help you sleep well, including estrogen and the human growth hormone. They’re not as high as they once were, but you won’t see them really decline for another decade.
Sleeping tips for 20-30 year olds
The big enemy to sleeping in your twenties is irregular routines and skipping on the high quality slumber you need. Here’s how to fix it:
- Try to set a routine that you can realistically stick to. We know you won’t drink hot cocoa and go to bed at 8pm every evening, but putting a few restrictions down can do your sleep routine the world of good.
- Learn about sleep hygiene. You could decide not to look at your phone after 10pm (here’s why it’s a bad idea), commit to doing some meditation before you sleep, or schedule a couple of nights each week where you stay in and relax.
- You’re an adult now, and you deserve a real bed! Ditch that cheap uni duvet and invest in a proper mattress - you’ll be amazed at how much good it can do. Sleeping on one of our hybrid mattresses isn’t a bad idea. (And if it doesn’t work for you, you have 200 days to return it for a full refund, no questions asked.)