How Much Sleep Do You Need? Why Eight Hours is the Magic Number
Do you wonder how much sleep you need? If it doesn’t feel like you’re getting enough now then you’re not alone. According to a recent survey by the CDC, over a third of Americans aren’t getting the sleep they need. That’s enough for them to declare a “sleep crisis.” It’s not just for your health, the Dept of labor also estimated that the US would lose billions of dollars this year due to sleep-related illness and work fatigue. Yes, that’s billion with a B.
So how do you know how much sleep you need? First off, listen to your body. If you’re tired in the morning you need more sleep. But if you’re still curious after that as to how much sleep you need, know this: It’s probably at least seven hours (and probably closer to eight). Here’s the breakdown of what your magic sleep number probably is.
How Much Sleep Do We Actually Need?
Well, this one really depends on your body and where you’re at, but generally speaking most of us need around 7-9 hours of sleep EVERY NIGHT. We put that in caps because sure, you might be getting that sleep once in a while, but if you’re not putting in the time, you’re hurting your overall sleep amount. That’s something called sleep debt.
When figuring out how much sleep you need, we often neglect to think about how that amount can change from day to day. The important part of sleeping is getting consistent with your schedule, the hours you put in, and the time you wake up. Doing all of those things helps normalize your sleep schedule, and can help you get the most out of your sleep.
Sleep Debt is Real, and It’s Probably Affecting You Right Now
Sleep debt is the general term for when you don’t get enough sleep, and just like your student loans, that means it’s probably compounding interest right now. Not only does not getting enough sleep affect you on the day it happens, it also can affect your life going forward. If you think you’re suffering from sleep debt, it can be weeks of sleeping at normal hours before you’re out of it. That’s why we’re so hesitant to give a “one size fits all” answer when talking about how much sleep do you need — sometimes it can be more than usual if you’re dealing with SD.
Don’t lose hope though, it is possible to get yourself out of sleep debt, it’s just going to take some care, planning, and well, sleep. Make sure that you’re sectioning off at least seven hours every single night, and if you feel like you need more, make sure to listen to your body! It knows best.
Elite Athletes Routinely Get More Than Eight Hours For Peak Efficiency
What do Roger Federer and Lebron James have in common? They’re both multiple time champions, record-breaking elite athletes, and they both get twelve hours of sleep a day. They aren’t the only ones. These athletes don’t need to wonder how much sleep do you need, they’re on strict training regimens that keep them sleeping for large chunks of the day — sometimes napping three hours or more before a performance.
It has to do with how much professional athletes push their bodies. In general, napping more than a half hour can have a negative effect on your sleep schedule and metabolism, but for those athletes continuously red-lining their bodies, it can be the difference between success and failure.
“If you nap every game day, all those hours add up and it allows you to get through the season better,” the basketball player Steve Nash told the New York Times. “I want to improve at that so by the end of the year I feel better.
Too Much Sleep May Have some Effect on Your Health. It’s about Quality, Not Quantity.
At the risk of stressing you out, there is some evidence to suggest that too much sleep can also be a problem. If you’re routinely sleeping more than ten hours a day and you aren’t an elite athlete, it could be a sign of depression or heart disease. Being over-tired is a problem that should be looked at by your health professional.
There is some research to suggest that longer sleeping habits can lead to depression, higher risk of obesity, and heart disease. In these cases, it’s usually not about the length of time you’re sleeping, but rather the quality of the sleep you’re getting. If you’re sleeping at least eight hours a night, and are still asking how much sleep you need, it’s worth talking to a sleep specialist. Often times these sleep professionals will have simple solutions to get you into deep sleep and REM sleep, the two most restful and restorative stages of sleep that your body may be missing.
One of the best and easiest ways to make sure you sleep well is to get a mattress that comforts and supports you all night long. The Nectar is a mattress designed with your sleep in mind. It’s going to get you the deep, restful sleep you deserve, so never again will you be left wondering how much sleep you need. Try one today and get $125 off plus two free mattresses. Don’t wait, get the sleep you’ve always dreamed of.