If you’re like me, then you’ve spent countless years thinking “I need at least 8 hours of sleep every night” and being stressed and anxious on the nights when it wasn’t going to happen. Today, I want to challenge your position on sleep. Not the position in which you sleep, but your position on the number of hours you need each night.
This isn’t because I want you to be tired or dragging throughout the day, but because I think you may surprise yourself, kind of like I did.
A couple weeks ago my schedule was jam packed. It was one of those weeks where I couldn’t help but run from one thing to the other and the idea of more than 6 hours of sleep each night was mind boggling. How I felt through that week was interesting though…
I was energized throughout the day.
I woke up easily with or before my alarm in the morning.
I felt clear, focused and motivated.
Then an evening came when I had more time to sleep. I got right around 8 hours and woke up the next morning exhausted, sore, lazy and spent the day feeling like I needed an IV of coffee.
Since this first incident, I’ve continued to test this theory and here’s what I’ve learned:
- The National Sleep Foundation suggests 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults 26-64 years old
- My diet determines how my body feels when I wake up in the morning (excessive sugar = SORE, tired and lazy)
- My sweet spot is 6-6 ½ hours each night, any less OR any more and it’s hard to get out of bed
- Diffusing lavender essential oils while I fall asleep is divine (Note: this is the diffuser I have but in black)
In my search to make myself feel like the best, I’m learning what works, what doesn’t and when something needs to change. I’ve talked to a few friends who have found similar things about themselves.
Now I’m not trying to take your sleep away from you, but rather present the idea that if something isn’t working for you right now, don’t discount that it could be sleep (and potentially in the least expected direction).
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Do you know your sleep sweet spot?
Could you be getting too much sleep?
My sweet spot has been 6 hours for years. If I get more than that, I’m exhausted all day. This post is basically the same thoughts I have on sleep.
Though, as I approach 30, I’m finding I need more sleep than before.
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Really? As I approach 30, I find I’m needing less. It’s so crazy how we’re all just a little different.
It definitely is! I needed around 4-5 when I was younger. Now I’m in the 5-6 range. So not a big jump, but definitely a slight change. I’m sure that’ll change again when we finally have kids of our own.
Good timing on this post. It’s National Better Sleep month! I agree that sleep is a personal thing, and there probably isn’t a magic number that’s suitable for every adult. I happen to need between 7 and 10 hours nightly, but I sleep for sport so don’t mind me. 🙂
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Is it really?! 🙂
I can live with less sleep throughout the week, but on the weekends I like to wake up naturally. I feel more balanced this way.
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During the week I often wake up around 4:15…is it weird if I tell you it’s not uncommon for that to happen on the weekends too (naturally)? haha
Not at all! I’m about an hour behind you. I’m usually up at 5:30, and more often than not, I wake up that early on the weekends as well.
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I totally woke up at 4am on my own this morning, then told myself “no, sleep until at least 5” and then couldn’t get out of bed until 7…just continuing to prove my point
I definitely do best when I get 7 hours, but it also definitely depends on the quality of sleep! I can get six restful hours and be just as fine as when I get 8 restless sleeps!
Makes sense to me!
Too much sleep is definitely possible! For me, I feel best when I get around 7 1/2 hours of sleep – that’s just what my body likes, apparently!
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I find this knowledge so empowering!
This is interesting! I’ve noticed that if I get more or less than 7 1/2 to 8 hours, I’m exhausted and cranky. I’ve also noticed that my bedtime makes a difference in how i feel the next day too, and since have tried to make my weekend bed time closer to my weeknight bed time. Thanks for sharing!
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Isn’t it interesting?! I’m so intrigued by everyone’s comments too!
I had no idea too much sleep was possible! Hm… some sleepy experimenting is in my future…
Seriously!! Do it!! It’s so empowering to me and is really helping me wake up feeling refreshed!
Great post! I always thought that I should get at least 8 hours of sleep a night (which I never do). I tend to get too little sleep (5 hours usually, 4 hours more often than it should happen… during the week, I get more on the weekend) so I try to focus on getting more. But one thing I have found is that if I get 8 hours of sleep I have a hard time waking up and I’m really lethargic. And that feeling will last for the entire day. When I get 6 – 7 hours, I feel much better. Also, if I’m well-rested and I don’t set an alarm I tend to wake up after about 6 – 7 hours of sleep, so I think that’s my ideal sleep range. 🙂
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I find I do well on 6.5-7 hours however if it is winter and darker in the morning, 8 hours seems to be better. Maybe I have seasonal sleep patterns?! Lol
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Ohhh now that’s an interesting thought! I bet you’re right and I really wouldn’t be surprised if we’re all that way…a little winter semi-hibernation tendencies? 😉
Is it weird I am one of those people who needs more than 8 hours? My sweet spot is 9! Makes it hard when I have a lot planned but man I feel good afterwards.
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Not at all! I think it’s just important that you KNOW it and therefore can plan for it!
I think 7 hours is my sweet spot. The past few nights I Havent had good sleep 🙁
Oh no! 🙁 I hope you get some better sleep asap!
A few months ago I read about how getting too much sleep is just as bad as getting too little. I find that I actually need more sleep. I would be dying for a nap with only 6.5 hours of sleep. I find that 8 (and sometimes even 9) hours of sleep is perfect for me. If I get less than that, I end up feeling drowsy.
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It’s so funny how we’re all so different! I find myself dying for a nap at 8-9 hours of sleep!
This is thought-provoking…I seriously need to do this lol. For a while now I’ve been trying to find what my sleep schedule is and I can’t seem to figure it out, is it 8 hours, 7.5 hours, 7? I haven’t tried 6 hours yet, so I think that will be my next step. Right now, I’ve been getting 8 hours and it is just so, so hard to get out of bed. But I’ve figured this is just because my bed is just so darn comfy lol. Thank you for posting!
I think it’s also important to try the same amount of sleep over a few days to really figure out the pattern and not just the possibility that you had one 6 hour sleep but slept horribly because you had a cup of coffee too late in the day or something like that..
Okay, so an update: I tried it last night! 6.5 hours of sleep and I’m going to give it a few more days to see if this is something solid or not. Excited for a change. Thank you!
Oh yay!! Thanks for the update!
I definitely don’t get enough sleep the odd time that I do get too much I am in so much pain for some reason
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That’s the interesting thing because I’m totally that way. It becomes so much harder for me to get out of bed with 8+ hours as my body becomes insanely SORE.
I try to get 8 hours of sleep every night. My husband gets 6 every night and he loves it. He has lots of energy and is ready for the day.
That’s how I feel with 6 too, but I totally recognize that isn’t everyone!
That’s interesting because I’ve found when I get about 6 hours, I feel pretty great, but when I manage a day I can stretch to 9 hours, I feel exhausted. So do you go to sleep later or get up earlier? I’ve found that no matter when I get up that my brain doesn’t kick in until 9 am. So last night I slept from about 1:30 to 9 and woke up ready to go. I’ve always had sleep troubles so this may be something to think about.
I’m an early riser by nature, it’s my prime time. Plus, I love to peace of early morning so I usually go to bed around 10 and wake up around 4/4:15. 🙂
I’m with you! I tend to feel great around 6 hours. If I go past that I need almost 9 otherwise I feel crappy. And who has time for 9 hours of sleep? I sure don’t. But the 6 only works if I’ve been eating healthy and exercising.
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Isn’t it amazing how our diet and lifestyle ALSO plays a factor? Too much sugar and I REALLY can’t get out of bed the next day as I’m in physical pain. I always find that the 8-9+ and I need a NAP within the first 3-4 hours of being awake.
I’m a HUGE supporter of a preaching QUALITY sleep over quantity. We get too ingrained in our digital 24-7 lifestyles sometimes and it is so very important to slow everything down at the end of the night and get a great night of rest. The interesting thing is that so many of the most successful people throughout history have a few things in common and (usually) one of those common themes is quality sleep … or at the very least, mindful practices to get more rest from the grind. Thanks for sharing!
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Interesting! I think I require more sleep naturally. I think around 8 hours is key for me. Any more than that I feel totally drowsy and any less I get migraines and feel sick to my stomach when I first wake up!
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Oh girl I get that! I learned years ago that when I get around 4 hours of sleep (thankfully, this isn’t a common occurrence anymore), I am SO nauseous for hours after getting up!
it’s awful! Yeah, luckily its not a common occurrence for me anymore either! 🙂
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I never though about about your diet affecting how you feel in the morning! I’ll have to test that out!
Oh yes! If I eat too much sugar, I wake up the next morning and I’m in physical pain when I try to get out of bed!
I haven’t found my sweet spot, but last night I got like 9 hours, and I know it was too much! I think between 7 and 8 is definitely closer to my sweet spot!
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Find it, girl! 🙂
Funny you wrote about this, because just yesterday I was thinking about how much sleep I have been getting lately and I was amazed! I realized that I’ve been getting around 6 1/2-7 hours of sleep every night and I feel so much more energized and awake throughout the day than on those that I get more than 7. Isn’t that crazy?! I don’t need naps in the afternoon anymore and I’m more likely to get my workouts in too. I think I’ve found my sweet spot!
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