How much shut eye are you getting? Why eight hours’ of sleep is key to happiness

Former British Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill both famously said they got by on just four hours of sleep. And, current leader Theresa May has revealed she generally gets five or six hours a night.

However, latest research has suggested that the key to happiness is getting eight hours of shut eye every night. Researchers from the University of Flensburg in Germany examined 23,000 people over the course of five years, coming to the conclusion that you need eight hours of sleep per night to be satisfied with life.

However, the average amount of sleep enjoyed by the average Briton is just six hours 45 minutes. Medics say it is vital to get enough sleep because not enough rest can harm the way the brain regulates its thoughts and emotions. Those who have issues sleeping are four times more likely to suffer from depression as those who have restful nights.

Not just for wimps

The research, published in the respected International Review of Economics, points out what an important part of life sleep really is. The paper says: “It provides restoration, renews energy levels and, as burgeoning medical research asserts, helps the brain support good mental health. It is emphatically not just ‘for wimps’.”

Shortly after taking on the top job in Britain, Prime Minister Mrs May said that there was a lot of work to do so she was not getting much sleep. Giving an interview on Radio 4, she said: “Fortunately I’m someone who does sleep pretty well, although I don’t get as many hours as I might like. You’re probably talking about five or six hours, but there’s a lot of work to do.”

Meanwhile US Presidet-elect Donald Trump has also spoken about how little sleep he gets. The entrepreneur and reality star often talked about how he only slept for 90 minutes to four hours while on the campaign trail.