The National Sleep Foundation gathered a 18 person- multidisciplinary expert panel to evaluate scientific literature regarding sleep requirements for different age groups. The evaluation is published in the journal “Sleep Health” and nicely illustrated in the infographic below.
Of note, the conclude that individual sleep requirements should be considered, but that these (should) rarely deviate far from the normal range. If done so consistently, over time this will most likely compromise health and well-being.
Alongside the CF-idoms/nonsense-phrases that somehow became popular due to plain stupidity, the “you can sleep when you are old”- phrase should be disregarded and the person stating it publicly ridiculed. That is, of course, only if you are interested in optimising health, memory, mental and physical performance, recovery, lean body mass, pain reduction etc etc.*
* (Thomas et al., 2000; Alhola et al., 2007; Taheri et al., 2004; Knutson et al., 2007; Afflect et al., 1996; Kundermann et al., 2004; Moldofsky et al., 2001)