So there is no doubt that there is a connection between sleep and productivity. But how many hours do you really need? Remember in college when you would stay up late, get just a few hours of sleep and do it all again the next day. But how productive was I really? I still sometimes stay up late and the next morning I am basically worthless the next day.
You know that getting a good night’s sleep is important. What you may not know is how many hours of sleep you really need. And that is because your need for sleep and your sleep patterns change as you age, so what was working for you a few years ago probably won’t work for you today. So if you were surviving off a few hours of sleep during your college days like I was, it’s probably not going to work in your 30s.
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How Many Hours Of Sleep Do You Really Need?
There is no “magic number” of hours of sleep that works for everyone. As moms, you know babies sleep all day long, not so well at night. But they are known to sleep as long as 16 hours a day and that is because it is a part of their growth and brain development.
As children get older and become school-aged through teenage years they sleep on average 9.5 hours a night. Remember the days when your parents had to wake you up for school? Currently, my kids get an average of 10-12 hours a night, not to include naps if they take them.
Most adults function very well with 7-9 hours of sleep per night until around the age of 60. Have you ever noticed your parent or grandparent doesn’t really seem to be asleep ever? At 60 and older, adults tend to sleep less and actually lighter, which means they experience interruption with multiple awakenings during the night.
So you might read these numbers and think you are good. But these are averages and are a good place to start. Since everyone is different you need to determine how many hours of sleep you really need each night.
Determine how many hours you need
In order to determine the number that works best for you, think back to a day or stretch of days when you felt rested, alert and productive. Then ask yourself these questions:
- Did you awaken without the help of an alarm clock?
- Where you alert the moment you opened your eyes?
- Did you feel rested upon awakening?
- Did you have energy that lasted the entire day?
- What meals did you eat during the day?
- What was the last thing you did before going to bed?
- What time did you go to bed?
- What time did you awaken?
Write all this information down then review your answers. This information will show you how other factors affect your sleep. You will also be able to determine the number of hours of sleep you need to feel rested and to have the energy to work through the day.
With this information, you will be able to plan your day and get the optimal number of hours of sleep each night. How many hours of sleep are you getting each night? Is it enough? Let me know how your sleep is effecting your productivity during the day in the comments!