A bad night's sleep is infuriating and can be utterly exhausting. By contrast a good night's rest is revitalising and refreshing, but how much sleep do we actually need? According to the Sleep Foundation you first need to "examine what lifestyle factors are affecting the quality and quantity of your sleep such as work schedules and stress. To get the sleep you need, you must look at the big picture". A great deal of scientific evidence is available to illustrate the inherent differences in sleep requirement between populations and adults of various ages. Ultimately the Sleep Foundation concludes that there is no single 'magic number' of hours sleep.

Too little or too much sleep can be a health risk

Back in 2010 the Telegraph reported on a study that concluded seven hours was the optimum number of sleep hours. The study of some 30,000 individuals found that the occurrence of cardiovascular disease was approximately doubled among those sleeping less than five hours a day, compared with those getting seven hours. Those who slept nine hours or more also had a markedly increased risk.

Time for bed?

If we accept that roughly seven hours sleep is about right for the majority of adults, we should also consider which seven are best. Comparing several studies it seems that most scientists agree that the optimum time to go to bed is between 10pm and 11pm. This is because your body temperature starts to drop between these times, as does the level of cortisol, the body's stress hormone. However we are also affected by melatonin, the body's sleep chemical which in part is triggered by the brain's reaction to the darkening of the day. Experts from the Sleep Council state that if you are feeling sleepy in the evenings, it is best to go to bed at that time because fighting to stay awake can prove more disruptive to your sleep patterns in the long-term.

Add a little love

Making love is also scientifically proven to encourage better sleep due to "hormone production during intercourse" according to Saralyn Mark of the Yale School of Medicine. During sex the production of oxytocin is boosted and cortisol production decreases. These hormonal changes leave your body in a relaxed state, making it easier for you to fall asleep. Moreover, estrogen levels increase, which can enhance a woman’s REM cycle for a deeper sleep.

The perfect temperature

Temperature also has a part to play and most studies agree that between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal for sleeping, with temperatures above 75 degrees and below 54 degrees proving disruptive. We are also pretty confident that by sleeping in beautifully soft and breathable cotton pyjamas from PJ Pan that you'll have every chance of enjoying the perfect night's sleep. Our women's 'Sweet Dreams' and 'Forty Winks' fabrics and the 'Hypnos' men's pyjamas couldn't be more appropriate!

Sleeping woman Seven hours of sleep is considered to be ideal