It’s an age-old question, but also a timeless one—how much sleep do you really need? You know how good you feel when you get a great night’s sleep, as well as how poor you feel when you don’t get enough. However, what number should you be aiming for?
The Average Adult
The National Sleep Foundation suggest that adults ages 26 to 64 should aim for an average of 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. However, the number isn’t the only factor to consider. You should try to go to bed and wake up within the same 30-minute window every day—even on the weekends.
What If You Miss A Night?
We all have days, or weeks, when we can’t get the amount of sleep we require. Perhaps due to late nights at the office, a fun night with friends, or keeping up with your jam-packed schedule. While a night of reduced sleep here or there won’t do too much damage, if it occurs even 1 night a week, you can expect a decrease in immunity and an increase in irritability and stress levels.
The Not So Average Adult
If you have tried 7 to 9 hours of sleep, and it’s just too much, you aren’t alone. While that is the average, some adults can easily function on 6 hours per night. And on the flip side, many adults need up to 10 hours per night. You will also need more than 7 to 9 hours as you age, while pregnant, sick, or while still growing.
Last but not least, ensure your bedroom, bed, pillow, and room temperature are conducive to sleep. Banish electronics from the bedroom, or at least turn them to silent—and avoid the temptation to text, game, or check your email. This includes social media! If it helps, revert back to a traditional alarm clock.