If I were to answer this question based on my experience, I would answer “at least 10 hours” straightaway. For different people, you’d definitely get different answers. I still remember learning in school that the average amount of sleep that people need is anywhere from 7 to 9 hours. I suppose the key word here is “average.” This means that the figures cannot be pinned down for everyone. So how would you know how much sleep you really need?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, “sleep needs vary across populations, and the study calls for further research to identify traits within genes that may provide a “map” to explain how sleep needs differ among individuals.” More than this, “another reason there is “no magic number” for your sleep results from two different factors that researchers are learning about: a person’s basal sleep need – the amount of sleep our bodies need on a regular basis for optimal performance – and sleep debt, the accumulated sleep that is lost to poor sleep habits, sickness, awakenings due to environmental factors or other causes.”
It is complicated, isn’t it? I suppose the determining factor would be how your body responds to the amount of sleep you get. If you sleep for 7 hours and you still can’t function optimally during the day, then the chances are that you need more. On the other hand, if you sleep for 10 hours and you feel groggy and not even coffee can do much for you, then you should probably lessen your sleeping hours. As for me, I am sticking to my minimum of 10 hours a day if I can!
Originally posted on March 5, 2008 @ 11:17 pm