How Much Sleep Do We Actually Need? | Psych in 60

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How Much Sleep Do We Actually Need?

What is our magic number?

For adults, the average amount of sleep needed is 7 hours and the range of normal can be as low as 5-6 hours a night or as high as 9 hours. We see challenges with health at both too much sleep or too little sleep.

Sleep is very much a unique metabolism just like we all have a unique metabolism for calories. The best way to get an estimate of your perfect number is to track your sleep with a sleep diary for a period of two weeks. Average the amount of sleep per night over that two-week period and this will give you an idea of what your number might be.

Let’s say the average is 6 hours. The next thing you would do is try to get your 6 hours of sleep at the same time each day and see if you can’t stretch it to 6 1/2 or 7 hours. Increase your time in bed by 15 minutes each week until you get to a time where you find you are waking earlier than desired or experiencing extra awakening at night.

The goal is to have 85% – 90% of your time in bed spent sleeping.

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