How many hours of sleep do I need? That is probably the most common question I get as a sleep doctor. The simple answer is that it’s different for everyone, but should be enough that you feel refreshed and energetic while awake. Some people get by with shorter amounts of sleep, whereas others require 8 or more hours of sleep to feel refreshed. All too often I see patients who complain of daytime fatigue, yet, when questioned about their sleep quantity, sheepishly admit that they restrict their sleep due to work or play being prioritized over a good night’s sleep.
Recently the American Academy of Sleep Medicine published guidelines suggesting that adults should sleep 7 or more hours per night. This recommendation was based on prior studies suggesting that sleeping less than 7 hours or more than 9 hours may be associated with adverse health outcomes, including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
As always one size does not fit all. If you sleep less than 7 hours or more than 9 hours, and you feel great, that may be exactly what your body needs. On the other hand, if you’re dragging, tired, and have a feeling of not being as sharp as you’d prefer it may be something you’d like to chat about with your physician.
As always, if you have any questions about these topics you should discuss them with your physician.
Roy Artal, M.D.
For additional information on this and related topics please see the following resources:
Watson NF, Badr MS, Belenky G, Bliwise DL, Buxton OM, Buysse D, Dinges DF, Gangwisch J, Grandner MA, Kushida C, Malhotra RK, Martin JL, Patel SR, Quan SF, Tasali E. Recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult: a joint consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society. SLEEP 2015;38(6):843–844.