By Lauren Denos: 4/24/2015 (Ask Lauren)

Dear Lauren,

How much sleep each day is necessary for a healthy life?

Thank you,


Dear Johnathan,

This really depends on each individual. Most people need sleep that ranges between 6-8 hours. There are some who need 9 or 10 hours a night. The reason this varies so much is your natural rhythm, but also if your body is healing from any illnesses, if you are working out a lot or if you are under a lot of stress. When dealing with things of that nature, you may need more sleep than the average person. Listen to your body and do not be upset if you need more sleep than others. If you do listen to your body and get the appropriate amount of sleep, you will function much more optimally.

Pay attention to the signs that you are getting too little sleep. There are a lot of them. But some of the common examples are:

  • Foggy headed

  • Larger appetite

  • Poor reasoning skills

  • Mood swings

  • Heavy limbs

That being said, you also want to balance it out with not sleeping too much. Some people actually get more tired if they sleep too much. This is a little less common for most people that the under sleeping, but it is something to be aware of.

Make sure you are not using coffee as a way to ignore the sleep you need. We are in a fast-paced society where sleeping less and working more is looked upon as a sign of success, but really you are not functioning at a high capacity. Coffee is not a substitute. You may not think the lack of sleep is affecting you now, but it will catch up to you. Everything we do to our bodies eventually catches up to us. Keep that in mind when you want to push yourself beyond your limits.

Play around with it. Test a different amount each week for a few weeks and see how you feel best. Start with 6 hrs. for a week and see how you feel, then work up until you are testing out 10. You do not have to do it this way, if you already sleep 7 hours a night and know you are still tired then test out a week at 8 hrs. and then 9 and then 10. Once you know how much sleep you need, you can work that into your schedule and your days will become a lot more productive and enjoyable!

Sleep does more than people really think, so make sure you get the amount you need.




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