Sleep: How much do we really need?
Everyone seems to be in a debate about how much sleep is ideal. "What is the magic number?" This is a stupid question in my opinion.
How much sleep do we really need? We need enough, and enough tends to vary dramatically from person to person. So forget the whole 7-8 hour rule and listen to your body. Get enough sleep and rest so you can attack each day with energy and vigour.
Keep note of how long you sleep for on your days off when you can sleep as long as you like.
Try going to bed early enough so that you get a similar amount of sleep to your days off before waking and beginning your day.
Repeat for several days.
See if you wake up before the alarm or end up hitting snooze.
If you consistently wake up before your alarm feeling refreshed and ready to go, awesome! This is how much sleep you need on average at present (this may change over time).
If you are consistently waking to the alarm or waking feeling very tired, you likely need more sleep.
If you need more sleep, try going to bed 20 minutes earlier each night until you find a sweet spot and start to wake before your alarm.
If you're waking early every day, cool. Get up and do something productive or fun!
I’ve come to realise, apart from activity levels, diet, stimulant dependence and so on, another powerful influence on your needs for sleep is your attitude about life.
Are you excited to get out of bed and start working?
Do you feel like your spending most of your energy rather than receiving from life?
Can you see how you will be contributing and receiving in whatever you do?
Are you grateful to be alive and where you are?
These common topics dramatically affect your body's need for rest. Reflect on them for a moment.
More on those topics later...