How much sleep is enough

Sleep needs vary from person to person. Age, genetics, lifestyle, and environment all play a role.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night. People who sleep seven hours a night are healthier and live longer. While the guideline is helpful, you are the best person to judge how much sleep you need.

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To really find out what your individual sleep needs are, do the following experiment for at least two weeks:

  • Pick the same bedtime every night.
  • Turn off your alarm.
  • Record the time you wake up.

You may sleep longer during the first few days, but over the course of a few weeks, a pattern will emerge of how much sleep your body needs each night.

If you often feel tired, your body is telling you that it's not getting enough sleep.

If you're getting eight hours of sleep a night but still feel tired, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder or interrupted sleep.

Keep a sleep diary

A sleep diary will give you important insights into your sleep habits.

For one week, write down:

  • The time you go to bed and the time you wake up.
  • The number of hours you sleep and whether you took naps or woke up during the night.
  • Notice how you feel in the morning—refreshed or fatigued?

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