How Much Sleep Do You Really Need Each Night?

Good night sleep is the time in which you recharge your batteries, and this can improve both your physical and mental well being.

What a good night’s sleep consists of is an old age debate, and particularly the myth around 8 hours a night which seems to be the magic number.

Many people struggle to get 8 hours, and this could be due to work demands, their social life or simply struggling to drift off at night.

woman sleeping on a pillow
Woman sleeping on a pillow; image source:

The 8 Hour Myth Debunked

A recent study conducted by the University of California debunked the 8 hour myth, which will be welcome news for those who worry about their lack of sleep.

The research showed that the optimum amount of sleep to function happily on is 6 hours and 25 minutes. Whilst this can give you a good idea, you must also consider your own lifestyle factors which could alter this. There are charts and tables that you can look at online, but at the end of the day it is you who knows your body best.

It is also likely that the amount that your body requires will change as your age and circumstances do. New parents, for example, suddenly get a lot less sleep each night but (eventually) adjust.

Quality Sleep

Quality of sleep also plays an enormous role in how you feel each day. It does not matter if you have 8+ hours a night, if this is not good quality then you will not feel rested.

There are many ways to improve the quality of your sleep, but perhaps most important is having a high quality bed.

One common criticism is that many people now use devices in bed which emit artificial light and this can interfere with sleep. Although it may be difficult at first, removing these devices from the bedroom could have a huge impact on your quality of sleep.

The importance of a good nights sleep should not be overlooked. In addition to feeling well rested, sufficient sleep keeps your heart healthy, it reduces stress, reduces the risk of many diseases, improves your memory, can help you to lose weight, help your body to repair and many other benefits.

It now seems that less than 7 hours is a healthy minimum, but you also need to ensure that you are getting high quality sleep each night if this is the case.


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