How Much Sleep Do You Need?

Bedphones on 3rd Nov 2014

We already know that sleep is amazing.

You can build muscle in your sleep, increase your brain function and your coordination, plus a whole lot of other things. But all of that stuff depends on getting the right amount of sleep each night.

And how much sleep is that exactly?

You probably won't like the answer.

We don't know.

There is no one number of hours that applies to everyone, everywhere. It is dependent on a whole lot of factors, such as your age and health.

For instance, if you're fighting off a cold, you're going to need more sleep than someone who is skipping around in the best health of their life.

It gets even trickier when sleep debt comes into play.

When we don't get enough sleep, each hour we miss out on gets piled up as sleep debt - which needs to be paid in installments over the following nights. How much sleep you need each night is affected by how much sleep debt you have.

So unfortunately, we can't tell you how much sleep you need each night.

However, we can help you figure it out yourself.

It's been suggested that the basal sleep need for most adults is somewhere between 7 and 8 hours.

That's the base number of hours you need before you factor in health and sleep debt, etc.

For teenagers, the basal sleep need is probably closer to 10 hours.

Getting enough sleep is easy: just allocate yourself 8 hours. If you wake up before the eight hours are up, you're getting enough sleep.

If you don't wake up before the eight hours, try increasing it up to 9 hours and see what happens. You're probably going to sleep more at the start, in order to pay off your sleep debt.
After doing this for awhile, you'll hit your basal sleep needs.

Once you've hit that, it'll be easy to know how much sleep debt you've rung up. If you know you need 7.5 hours of sleep a night, and you only get 7, that's half an hour sleep debt.

Just make a little room in your schedule to fit that extra half hour in the following night. Improving the quality of your sleep will have a huge positive impact on your productivity during the day. 

Getting enough sleep every night doesn't need to be hard! Just set aside enough time every night and stick to a solid bedtime routine.

You'll feel more alert, better able to concentrate and a whole lot less tired.