I have a retired 64 year-old patient, I’ll call him Bob, who tells me that he never sleeps more than 5-6 hours a night and that he’s always up with the sun, full of energy for his active retiree day and never gets that mid-afternoon sleepy slump. He’s doing well, has no major health concerns, and this amount of sleep seems to be working well for him.
Another patient I have, I’ll call her Ellen, 46 years-old, working full-time every day as a busy legal secretary, tells me she’s a zombie unless she has at least 9 hours of sleep a day. What’s the difference between the amount of sleep Bob and Ellen need, and how do you know how much sleep you need? I’d like to tell you about several important factors to consider.
Seems all the news is buzzing today about sleep and how we should all get more because our heart health, and even maintaining a normal weight, depends on it. Two recent sleep studies have suggested that the baseline magic number for everyone is to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. While that’s a good recommendation, some people just simply don’t need that much sleep. Consider these things when figuring your sleep requirements:
The best way to gauge how much sleep you need is simple – how do you feel and function at what length of sleep each night? Remember, everyone’s sleep needs are different. Here are some common symptoms of sleep deprivation to watch for to better calculate your sleep hours:
If you’re like my patient, Bob, who has no trouble with sleep, consider yourself one of the lucky few as approximately 20% of Americans get less than 6 hours of sleep every night. Here are some things you can do to help get better sleep:
Sleep is essential to staying naturally healthy. Too little is known to cause serious consequences and too much may cause serious health problems as well. Keeping a sleep diary for a few weeks, noting how you feel with your sleep, can help you get your magic sleep number just right for you!