You have probably heard that humans need approximately 8 hours of sleep per night and that we spend approximately one-third of our lives sleeping. Is this true across the board? Simply, the answer is no. Though most adults do require 8 hours of sleep each night, people’s individual need for sleep may vary. Some people may need slightly more or less sleep depending on their personal needs. How do you know how much sleep you need? Trial and error. You need to track your sleep to determine what the ideal amount of sleep is for you. Keep in mind, however, that it’s not only the quantity of sleep you get but the quality.
Here are a few factors that can assist you. When you need more sleep:
- You feel it - If you don’t feel refreshed after waking up in the morning, or you just don’t feel like yourself, you either did not get enough sleep or the sleep that you got was not quality.
- You think differently - If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you won’t be able to think clearly. You may notice problems when trying to remember things or issues coming up with responses.
- You have less energy - Again, this is something you will feel. A lack of energy will certainly be felt when you aren’t getting adequate sleep.
- You need an alarm clock - Believe it or not, if you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, then you shouldn’t need an alarm clock in the morning to wake you in time. That’s not to say to ditch your clock completely, as alarm clocks are a great tool for ensuring you are awake.
- You don’t want to get out of bed - Because you feel tired, you may have problems getting yourself going in the morning.
- You need a nap - When you aren’t getting proper sleep at night, you end up feeling the need for a nap during the day.
There are also things you can do to find the right amount of sleep for you:
- Set a sleep schedule - Stick to a consistent bed and wake time every day. You’ll feel better if you continue to maintain this schedule, even on days that you do not work.
- Monitor your sleep - After establishing a bed and wake time, monitor how well you feel each day. Do you feel refreshed in the morning? Are you feeling tired or run-down later in the day? Consider using an electronic tracking device to help you monitor this.
- Tweak as necessary - Make any necessary changes to the time you go to bed, or the time that you wake, until you find a combination that gives you the best sleep.
Once you determine how much sleep you need, and you stick to a regular sleep schedule daily, you should feel better. You’ll feel refreshed and clear-headed. And for once in your life, you’ll want to get out of bed.