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!
5 Ways Sleep Can Increase Your Productivity
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Paige @An Uncomplicated Life Blog says
I could naturally sleep 12 hours a day… If there is anything I could change about myself, I’d love to be able to function off 7-8 hours of sleep a night, because 12 hours rarely (if ever) happens with 4 kids age 5 and under!
I am with you Paige. If only the kids would let me sleep haha. I only have 2 that are 5 and under, I couldn’t imagine 4 under 5!
Disha Smith says
I used to think that I needed at least eight hours of sleep per night. I’ve come to realize that I function fine off of 6.5 to 7 hours of sleep as well. If I feel well-rested after waking up, I know I slept enough. This article is super helpful!
Thank you, Disha! I function pretty well off 7 hours. In fact, my body actually just wakes up after 7 hours anyway. Glad you found the post helpful!
Mama Writes Reviews says
I can never ever seem to get enough sleep. When I do get a chance to sleep in, like when Daddy takes care of the kids and dogs, I can sleep until lunch…. crazy.
I am the same way. I can sleep for 10-12 hours if someone lets me!
Gina Abernathy says
Great post! There are some nights I could use about 12 hours of sleep and other nights I may only sleep 5. I am going to look over those questions and see if I can determine how many hours of sleep I really need. Thanks for the post!
Yes, Gina, I would love to hear how things work for you. I find I can sleep for 10+ hours but oddly I don’t really feel rested. I feel more rested when I have had around 7 hours.
Blue DeBell says
Sleep has always been such an important thing for me. I find that if I ignore sleep to get things done, I am actually less together and produce lower quality work than if I sleep on it. Thank you for sharing!
That is so true. Some nights I just have to put things down and get to bed. I will be able to function better in the morning and produce a better product.
Colleen Wildenhaus says
Thank you for sharing such an important topic. I have learned that sleep must be a priority for me or everything else in my life suffers. I am a better person with a full night’s sleep. Your ideas are encouraging and the information is important!
Thanks, Colleen. I used to try to function off much less sleep than I do now and I was grouchy all day. Sleep is so important!
Monica Allman says
Over the past few weeks, I have been intentional at trying to get more sleep, I appreciate your post it spurs me on to continue in this pathway.
Monica, this is something I have to work on as well. There are so many things that grab my attention after the kids have gone to bed and I can stay up so late.