How much sleep should I get? Sleep demystified. Basics n°5 about sleep
You may be disappointed but this is not going to be easy. As for the amount of food we need, the duration of sleep you will need is personal. Sleep need is related to a person’s activity, but also to genetics. For the same physical activity, people can take less than 6 hours of sleep while others will need 9+ hours. It is therefore impossible to set a standard duration and everyone must determine their sleep needs.
This article is part of a series regarding the ‘basics’ you should know about your sleep. You can find the table of contents of this series here.
Sleep needs vary across ages and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health. To determine how much sleep you need, it's important to examine what factors of your own lifestyle are affecting the quality and quantity of your sleep and then assess how you respond to different amounts of sleep. Of course, your sleep quality will also impact the sleep duration you need to feel refreshed.
But let’s say your sleep quality is good, the National Sleep Foundation assesses an adult sleep duration to be between 7 to 9 hours. There is a good chance that it suits you by looking at the distribution diagram below.
But as you see on the graph it won’t suit everybody since there are exceptions.
The best way to find naturally your sleep needs is to assess how you respond to different sleep duration. Do the test without having done sports activity the day preceding. See how you respond to that. If you feel tired, you add another cycle duration to the next night. On the contrary, remove one if you feel good. Once you have found the sleep duration that suits you in normal conditions, we advise you to add a cycle on the days of sports activity to help your body restore better.
The easy way is to use a tracker as the Circular ring. The ring automatically detects your sleep cycle length, assesses how you respond to your current sleep schedule by analyzing several biometrics and parameters that reflect your energy such as your heart rate variability, resting heart rate, your sleep quality, your time to fall asleep, your activities, etc... and recommend you the perfect duration you need to sleep.
This concludes our series on the basics of sleep. We invite you to look at the rest of the posts in the sleep category. There's a lot more to learn. Especially if you are looking to improve it.