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Asking Yourself How Much Sleep Do I Need? Only You Can Answer That Question


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Have you recently been asking yourself “how much sleep do I need"? To find the best answer to that question, you may need to invest some time in a little self-experimentation. Don't just accept the standard “eight hours" answer that you frequently hear. The amount of sleep that you need could be as little as five hours and as much as twelve. Every individual has different sleep rhythms and sleep requirements. If you crave waking up refreshed and full of energy, then you need to zero in on exactly the right amount of sleep for you.

Why do people differ when it comes to sleep needs? What makes you a “short sleeper" or a “long sleeper. " Believe it or not, it's more than just genetics. Yes, you do inherit qualities that determine how much sleep you need. But other factors can make a difference as well.

The quality of sleep that you get is important. The higher the quality of your sleep, the less you may need to be fully rested. The amount of sleep you need is also affected by something called sleep “hygiene. " Basically, this refers to various lifestyle choices you make every day that can have an impact on your sleep. These choices include things like the amount of caffeine you consume, the amount of exercise you get, and whether or not you smoke or drink alcohol.

One thing you can be sure of, though, is that our sleep needs are individual. Here's a good way to visualize what's going on: you are genetically programmed to need a certain amount of sleep each night. Then, depending on your behavior, you may increase or reduce that required amount. When you make choices that negatively affect your sleep quality, you begin to build a sleep debt. Making better choices can reduce your need for sleep.

One day in the future, geneticists may be able to map your sleep requirements and prescribe the optimum number of hours. Until that day comes, the answer to your question “how much sleep do I need?" can only be found by trial and error. Try keeping a sleep log that tracks the number of hours you slept and how you felt the next day. After a week or two, a pattern should start to emerge. Once you know your personal “magic number, " you'll be better able to control how you feel every morning.

Wondering How Much Sleep do I need? If you want to know more on how you can cure your insomnia, visit the Insomnia - Sleep disorders site now. Sign up for our free newsletter at


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