How Many Hours of Sleep Should You Get Each Night?

How Many Hours of Sleep Should You Get Each Night

Oh, sleep. That magical time when we get to rest, dream, and forget about all our worries. Some of us adore it, while others consider it a waste of time that could be spent binge-watching yet another Netflix series. But here’s the golden question that has been troubling humans for eons: How many hours of sleep should you actually get each night?

If you ask your fitness-obsessed friend, they might say four hours (because, clearly, they’ve replaced sleep with green juice). Your grandma? A solid 10 hours – but that’s probably because she’s counting those mid-afternoon naps. So, let’s dive into this riveting mystery, shall we?

The Expert Opinion (For Those Who Care About Science and Stuff)

First off, let’s get the boring (yet essential) stuff out of the way. The National Sleep Foundation – yes, it’s a real thing, not just a club for insomniacs – recommends:

  1. Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours
  2. Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours
  3. Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours
  4. Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10-13 hours
  5. School-age children (6-13 years): 9-11 hours
  6. Teenagers (14-17 years): 8-10 hours
  7. Young adults (18-25 years): 7-9 hours
  8. Adults (26-64 years): 7-9 hours
  9. Older adults (65+ years): 7-8 hours

But hey, who trusts experts anyway?

Reasons to Sleep for 10 Hours (Or More!)

  1. You Love Your Bed: Let’s face it. Your bed is probably the most committed relationship you’ve ever been in. Those cozy blankets, the gentle embrace of your pillow – it’s a love story for the ages.
  2. Dreaming is Your Side Hustle: Why live one life when you can live multiple ones in your dreams? Maybe you’re a rock star in one, or a sloth in another. Either way, dream big. Literally.
  3. It’s a Great Excuse: Didn’t want to go to that boring office party? “Oh, I had to catch up on sleep.” Missed a deadline? “Research shows sleep boosts productivity!” Your excuses are not only valid but scientifically backed. Win-win!

Reasons to Sleep for Less Than 7 Hours (If You Dare)

  1. More Time for Activities: Because who doesn’t want extra hours to ponder life’s great mysteries? Like, why do socks always disappear in the dryer?
  2. Experience All The Coffee: Less sleep equals more caffeine. And there’s no better way to explore the vast world of coffee flavors than depriving yourself of sleep. Ever had a triple espresso shot with a hint of vanilla and regret? Now’s your chance!
  3. Bragging Rights: “I only had 4 hours of sleep last night” is the new “I run marathons.” It’s a subtle way of saying, “Look at how much I can endure!” Plus, those dark circles under your eyes? They’re not bags, they’re badges of honor. (Speaking of which, you might be interested in: How to Get Rid of Dark Circles Under Your Eyes?)

Why Not Consult Mother Nature?

If you’re still puzzled about how many hours of shuteye you should be getting, perhaps you should turn to our good old friend: Mother Nature. After all, animals seem to have this all figured out, right?

Sloths: The poster child for ultimate relaxation. Sloths can sleep up to 15-18 hours a day. If you’ve ever envied the laid-back life of a sloth, maybe you’re on to something. Fun fact: Sloths move so slowly, algae grows on their fur. Think of it as nature’s way of accessorizing.

Giraffes: On the flip side, giraffes only need 4.6 hours of sleep daily. But then again, when you have a neck that long, maybe it takes a while just to find a comfortable sleeping position.

Dolphins: These creatures sleep with one eye open and one half of their brain awake. So, if you ever feel guilty about that midday nap, just remember: even dolphins, the Einsteins of the ocean, take it easy sometimes.

Hedgehogs: These prickly little creatures sleep up to 10 hours a day. Proving once and for all, it’s entirely possible to be cute, cuddly, and utterly lazy at the same time.

Reality Check for Night Owls and Early Birds

Now for the age-old debate. Are you a night owl, thriving in the wee hours of the morning, or an early bird, ready to conquer the world at the crack of dawn?

Night Owls: Sure, the world says you’re just up to no good, scrolling mindlessly on TikTok or watching “just one more” episode. But maybe, just maybe, you’re brewing the next big idea or… who are we kidding? You’re definitely on TikTok.

Early Birds: Waking up early might give you a head start, but let’s be real. That smugness you feel when you see the sunrise? That’s your real reward. And while the early bird gets the worm, remember, nobody really likes worms.

To Nap or Not To Nap? That is the Question

Ah, naps. Those blissful midday breaks where you can escape from the world. But how long should you nap for?

  • 20 minutes: A quick power nap to recharge your batteries.
  • 60 minutes: Perfect for a REM cycle – but you might wake up groggier than when you started.
  • 3 hours: At this point, is it even a nap anymore?

In the grand quest for the perfect sleep schedule, remember that life is all about balance. Sometimes you might need that extra hour (or three), and other times, caffeine is your best friend. Listen to your body, adjust according to your needs, and if all else fails, ask yourself: What would a sloth do?

Sweet dreams and sarcastic snoozes, everyone!

P.S. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, consider reading: How to Fall Asleep Faster: For Those Who’ve Tried Everything Except Actually Trying