Why eight hours a night isn’t enough, according to a leading sleep scientist (2022)

For something that we spend a third of our lives doing (if we’re lucky), sleep is something that we know relatively little about. “Sleep is actually a relatively recent discovery,” says Daniel Gartenberg, a sleep scientist who is currently an assistant adjunct professor in biobehavioral health at Penn State. “Scientists only started looking at sleep 70 years ago.”

As anyone who has lay awake at night contemplating the complexities of the universe can attest, sleep is a slippery beast. It involves a complex web of biological and neurological processes, all of which can be thrown off by something as simple as a partner’s nasal trumpeting or a coffee too late in the day.

There are also many, many misconceptions about sleep: that you can “catch up” on the weekend for lost hours of shuteye. That you can get by on four hours’ sleep a night. That a nip of whiskey before bed helps you sleep better. Even that eating cheese before snoozing causes nightmares.

To set the record straight about being horizontal, Quartz spoke to one of the world’s most-talked-about sleep scientists. Daniel Gartenberg is currently working on research funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Agingand is also a TED resident. (Watch his talk on deep sleep here.) He’s also an entrepreneur who has launched several cognitive-behavioral-therapy apps, including the Sonic Sleep Coach alarm clock. All that with 8.5 hours of sleep a night.

Some topics we cover:

  • why8.5 hours of sleep is the new eight hours
  • the genes that dictate if you’re a morning person or a night owl
  • why you should take a nap instead of meditating
  • how sleep deprivation can be a tool to fight depression
  • why sleep should be the new worker’s rights
  • and tips on how to get a better night’s rest (hint: it’s not your Fitbit)

You can also read Gartenberg’s comments on “sleep inertia”—the scientific reason why you feel so groggy when you wake up—here.

This interview has been lightly condensed and edited for clarity.

Quartz: Why do we need sleep?

Daniel Gartenberg: Every organism on the planet sleeps in some fashion, to some degree—even the basic fruit fly. What makes sleep so essential for our wellbeing comes down to three main things: to save our energy, to help our cells recover, and to help us process and understand our environment.

This third one is what I study. The “synaptic homeostasis hypothesis” is this idea that during the day, we make all these connections with the world around us. It used to be like, “Don’t go over there—the lions live there now.” Now it’s like, “What did Barbara say to me in the office?” These excitatory connections we make during the day result in the neurons in our brains getting overall higher activation. Then during the nighttime when we sleep, we have a downregulating process where the things that didn’t really matter to your survival sink to the bottom, and the things that are most relevant to your survival rise to the top. What deep sleep does is all the neural processing, and what REM sleep [rapid-eye-movement sleep] and light sleep do is basically integrate that into your long-term personality and understanding of the world.

What other differences are there between deep sleep and REM sleep?

A lot of people don’t understand that these are two very, very different processes. A lot of people probably learned from basic psych in high school that you have these sleep stages: light sleep > deep sleep > light sleep > REM, and repeat. As you sleep more, you get less and less deep sleep, and also if you sleep-deprive yourself, you get more deep sleep.

(Video) What Happens To Your Body And Brain If You Don't Get Sleep | The Human Body

During deep sleep, you get these long-burst brainwaves that are called delta waves, but during REM, your brainwaves are actually functioning very similarly to waking life. Your body is also paralyzed during REM—it’s a very noticeable physiological difference. You also lose thermo-regulation, meaning if it’s hot in your environment, your body gets hot, kind of like you’re a chameleon.

Your whole thing is that deep sleep is more important than REM sleep. Why?

It’s an ongoing debate in the literature—really, it’s both. Deep sleep is really important, but REM sleep is also important. We know that the human growth hormone, cell-recovery things, and the ability to process new information are associated with deep sleep. REM sleep is basically the processing of information.

Asking for the workaholics in the room: Do we really need that much sleep?

A professor I collaborate with at Penn State named Orfeu Buxton says that 8.5 hours of sleep is the new eight hours. In order to get a healthy eight hours of sleep, which is the amount that many people need, you need to be in bed for 8.5 hours. The standard in the literature is that healthy sleepers spend more than 90% of the time in bed asleep, so if you’re in bed for eight hours, a healthy sleeper might actually sleep for only about 7.2 hours.

That being said, some people are short sleepers: You can do a test to find out if you have genetic makeup that makes you a short sleeper. That’s rare, though, so by and large, people are not getting enough sleep. Getting half an hour less than what you need to really adds up over a week period.

To see how much sleep you really need, my professor suggests that when you go on vacation, try to stick to your normal bedtime and then see what time you wake up. With no stressors or time to get up, you’ll just fall into a natural pattern, and that’s probably how much sleep you actually need.

I normally get around six to seven hours of sleep a night and feel fine. But is that just because how I feel has become my normal operating mode, and I could really be functioning at a higher level?

Right. That’s like the fish and the fish bowl phenomenon: The fish doesn’t know that he’s in the fishbowl, nonetheless that he’s in water. Also, when you’re sleep deprived, research has shown that you’re really bad at being able to tell that you’re sleep deprived.

A lot of this has to do with stress in our environment and our external need to work all the time. This is what’s driving the fact that we’re sleeping so poorly nowadays.

How else does the workplace affect sleep?

I think of sleep like the new worker’s rights: We’re being worked to the point that we’re not sleeping, and it’s having physical detriments on our health and wellbeing.

People should be able to sleep like they’re able to get healthcare. This also means making our work environments more conducive to sleep. For optimum productivity, we need around eight hours of sleep, right? But that doesn’t have to be in one go. Maybe I’ll get a little less than that during the night, and then I’ll take a 20-to-30-minute power nap at midday. There’s a siesta for a reason! New Yorkers oftentimes try to pound through with coffee and whatever, but giving in to your natural circadian rhythm during that afternoon lull might be a good thing. We weren’t made to produce for eight hours straight.

(Video) The brain benefits of deep sleep -- and how to get more of it | Dan Gartenberg

Let’s talk more about circadian rhythms. What are they, and why are they responsible for that mid-afternoon slump?

We evolved from bacteria in the ocean that could differentiate sunlight from darkness—that’s what ended up forming the human eye. That means every organism is responsive to a circadian rhythm that’s largely dictated by sunlight. The photo receptors in our eyes pick up on sunlight, which controls the release of melatonin and all these other neurotransmitters that dictate your energy levels throughout the day.

You have a peak moment of awakeness during the morning. After lunch you usually have a glucose spike, especially if you have a big heavy lunch, like a cheeseburger. That glucose spike combined with a circadian dip gives you a period of fatigue between around 2 and 4pm. You’ll then have another spike in alertness right before dinner, and then you’ll start getting tired again closer to bedtime. That’s your 24-hour circadian rhythm, basically.

Then there’s also something called “chronobiology.” You actually have genes that dictate whether you’re a morning person or an evening person.

Wait—what? Really?

Yeah! If you’re a morning person, they call it a lark. If you’re a night person, they call it a night owl. Your genes give you a greater proclivity to being a lark or an owl. And then some people have genes that make them very flexible. The environmental cues they react against are called zeitgebers.

Lightsabers?

Zeitgebers! It’s this weird German word. There’s a lot of cool words in sleep: like the photo receptors control the release of melatonin by sending signals to the suprachiasmatic nucleus, just like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Anyway, basically your biggest zeitgeber is sunlight, and that’s the environmental cue that controls energy levels as well. But then also timing of meals, exercise, and having a consistent bedtime are all zeitgebers that impact your circadian rhythm. A bigger part of the problem is that we’re indoors so much now, so we don’t get that natural occurring sunlight when you wake up in the morning. That’s one of the best things that you can do to entrench your circadian rhythm.

If your circadian rhythm is off, it negatively impacts your sleep quality. So having that consistent rhythm of going to bed and getting up at the same time will actually make your sleep more regenerative at night. Going for a walk outside and getting that sunlight in the morning is the best thing to do to wake up. Your circadian rhythm isn’t a fixed thing: It’s actually shiftable based on your environmental cues.

If you wake up in the middle of the night (say, to go to the bathroom) but get back to sleep quickly, does that screw around with your sleep quality?

(Video) Sleep Is Non-Negotiable: Dr. Matthew Walker | Rich Roll Podcast

It varies. There’s no clear answer. In our studies, we’ll play really loud sounds that people have no conscious awareness of at all: We can play a sound literally at 70 decibels, which is like someone screaming, and that’ll wake them up briefly and then they’ll go right back into the sleep stage that they were in. Other times you can get a full awakening, and you’ll have to go through the process again.

It’s actually pretty normal to wake up during the night, anyway. In The Canterbury Tales, one of the oldest manuscripts in English culture, they describe “second sleep.” There’s some evidence that we used to go to bed when the sun went down, then wake up for a little bit at night—putter around, make sure we’re not getting eaten by a lion—and then go back to sleep. So it’s pretty normal to like wake up in the middle of the night and use the bathroom or whatever.

How is society changing our relationship with sleep? What will be the consequences of this?

Gallup has reported that over the past 50 years, we’re sleeping a whole hour less per night than we did in the 1950s. That’s a lot. A lot of that has to do with having TV on all the time, and mobile phones are taking it to the next level. But I think the biggest issue right now is the lack of work/life balance. I mean, I’m an entrepreneur, so I feel like I’m basically always “on”. A lot of people have jobs where they’re getting emails all hours the night, and there’s no longer a nine-to-five schedule.

I think that’s why meditation is so in vogue right now. But I actually think sleep is a more regenerative process than meditation. A lot of times people talk about doing meditation around midday, but for most people I would recommend a quick power nap instead of a quick meditation.

But if I try to take a powernap at lunch and can’t get to sleep, haven’t I just wasted 20 minutes of my day that I could have been meditating—or working?

Even when you close your eyes and turn off your brain for little bit—even if you don’t fully fall asleep—your brain creeps into theta waves. Similarly, when you meditate, you get a little bit of theta. So if you’re one of these people who really has a hard time with napping, maybe meditation could be better.

The most important thing is taking that time off—it’s more conducive to your productivity. A lot of times people think they can like fight through and push harder and harder and harder to get better results, but sleep can give you that, too. When you transition in and out of sleep, your brain produces theta waves, which help you think more divergently. That’s why a lot of times when you wake up from a power nap or from sleeping, you’ll be able to solve that intractable problem that you couldn’t earlier in the day. That’s one of the reasons I think taking a break—whether it’s meditation or nap—during that circadian dip can be much more conducive to productivity.

This is especially true for creative jobs. Jobs used to be very manual, but as jobs are becoming more and more cognitive, I think caring for your cognition is going to become increasingly important for the work.

What are some tips for getting a better sleep?

You want a cold, quiet environment with no light: That’s basically the ideal way to improve your sleep quality. However, people have a different ideal sound, light, and temperature environment to improve their sleep quality. We need stimulus control: You want to save the bedroom for sleep and sex.

SOUND: We focus on sound a lot. Quiet environments are going to improve your sleep quality. Your brain has these micro arousals throughout the night without you being consciously aware of it—even an air-conditioning unit turning on wakes up your brain. So blocking out noises is a low-hanging fruit to improve your sleep quality. Bose just released an earbud that you can sleep with, for example.

(Video) How To Improve Your Sleep | Matthew Walker

There’s this new finding where playing sounds at a certain frequency when your brain is in deep sleep actually increases the percentage of time spent in deep sleep. We’re publishing this paper in Society for Neuroscience Conference in a couple of weeks, and it’s basically what my TED talk is about. Playing these pulses at the same frequency as your deep-sleep brainwaves primes more deep sleep. Scientifically speaking, it’s a similar process as transcranial direct-current stimulation, except it doesn’t use electricity—just sound. Sound gets transmitted into electricity because you’re picking up on the auditory cortex while you’re sleeping.

TEMPERATURE: This is a big problem, especially if you have a sleep partner. Everyone has different natural body temperatures, and usually men run hotter than women, but it can go either way. That can be a big issue if you have a different body temperature, because then no one’s happy. I wrote this article called “Split blankets, not beds,” where I said that you shouldn’t share the same comforter. Of course it’s nice to share, and I do that at some points, but it’s also important to have different bedding on your bed so you can have that lighter sheet or comforter to try to mitigate differences in body temperature. There’s also something called a chili pad. You put on half of your bed and it’ll dictate the temperature level on your half if you run at a different temperature than your sleep partner.

LIGHT: The other thing is no blue light close to bedtime. There are a lot of studies that screen time close to bed is bad. One of the ideal ways of using our app is to connect it to your Bluetooth speakers so that you can put your phone in another room: There is something important to not having your phone in reach, because then you’re looking at the screen and getting the brightness. If you live in the city and there’s bright lights at night, having blackout shade can also be super useful.

STRESS: When you’re stressed, your flight-or-fight response is active during the night, and your sleep quality is going to be shallow. It’s natural: If you have kids, you are programmed to be able to respond to your environment during the night to make sure you’re not getting eaten by a predator. Parents have this issue when their fight-or-flight response system is overly activated by worrying about their kid, and that worry actually makes their sleep quality worse.

One of the things I recommend to people who have a racing mind and worrying thoughts about work is to segment a time to get it out during the day—encapsulate it in a little mental box so you’re not laying down in bed and just having your mind race about all these things.

How do you feel about sleep trackers and wearables?

Probably the most common wearable to measuring sleep right now is the Fitbit. I’ve studied these devices in depth in a well-controlled laboratory experiment where we’re monitoring brainwaves. I can say the Fitbit is pretty accurate in measuring when you’re asleep and when you’re wake, but when it comes to measuring sleep stages, basically any device that measures heart rate, like the Apple Watch, is totally inaccurate. That’s because they don’t sample at the frequency necessary to get a good read on your sleep stages.

Fitbits can also cause bigger problems, because they stress you out about the fact you think you’re not getting enough deep sleep—even though they’re not good at accurately measuring sleep stages.

What about people who mess with their sleep cycle and try things like the da Vinci method, where you take a 20-minute nap every four hours?

That polyphasic sleep stuff? I mean, it’s just not enough sleep. It’s ridiculous.

I haven’t seen a study that empirically shows that it’s helpful. There is certainly a false myth that we need eight hours of continuous sleep: I think it’s possible to have your sleep be a little bit broken up and be perfectly healthy—but getting that eight hours is crucially important. The thing is that the placebo effect in some of these polyphasic sleep methods runs really high.

There have also been some studies showing that sleep deprivation could be a tool to combat persistent depression. How do you feel about that?

That was really interesting. If you have an extreme case of depression, sometimes some therapists will sleep deprive you a little bit. It’s basically to activate your fight-or-flight response and jolt you out of your depression. But things like empathy and working with others are also impacted when you’re sleep deprived, and you’re also more sensitive to pain. Some people are studying this link to address the opioid epidemic and through actually sleeping better: Chronic pain might be associated with deep sleep.

(Video) Sleep | SharpLeft

Read next:“Sleep inertia” explains why you feel so groggy when you wake up

This article is part ofQuartz Ideas, our home for bold arguments and big thinkers.

FAQs

Why eight hours a night isn't enough according to a leading sleep scientist? ›

What makes sleep so essential for our wellbeing comes down to three main things: to save our energy, to help our cells recover, and to help us process and understand our environment.

Why is 8 hours of sleep Still not enough? ›

Most likely, you're still tired after eight hours of sleep because of these three factors: (1), you don't know your sleep need, (2) you're not taking into account your sleep efficiency, and (3) you carry sleep debt.

Is 8 hours a night enough? ›

National Sleep Foundation guidelines1 advise that healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. Babies, young children, and teens need even more sleep to enable their growth and development. People over 65 should also get 7 to 8 hours per night.

Why the human body requires a must sleep of eight hours and what if we do not provide this rest to the body? ›

Healthy sleep also helps the body remain healthy and stave off diseases. Without enough sleep, the brain cannot function properly. This can impair your abilities2 to concentrate, think clearly, and process memories. Most adults require between seven and nine hours3 of nightly sleep.

What happens to your brain when you sleep more than 8 hours? ›

Summary: While the effects of sleep deprivation are well known, researchers discover sleeping too much could have a detrimental effect on your brain. A new study reports sleeping more than eight hours per night can reduce cognitive ability and reasoning skills.

What is the best time to sleep according to science? ›

Researchers have discovered the best time for you to fall asleep to protect your heart and rest is between 10 and 11 p.m. A peer-reviewed study published Monday in the European Heart Journal analyzed the sleep and heart patterns of about 88,000 adults for six years.

Why do I need more than 8 hours sleep? ›

Other possible causes of oversleeping include the use of certain substances, such as alcohol and some prescription medications. Other medical conditions, including depression, can cause people to oversleep. And then there are people who simply want to sleep a lot.

How much sleep does Elon Musk get? ›

Elon Musk says he is "fairly nocturnal" and only sleeps about six hours a day. The world's richest man made the comments during an August 5 episode of The Full Send podcast. He said he usually goes to sleep at about 3 a.m. and wakes up after about six hours at 9 a.m. or 9:30 a.m.

Do successful people sleep 8 hours a day? ›

Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and other highly successful people who sleep 7 to 8 hours a night. Jeff Bezos, head of Amazon, can be seen on the fringes of the company's novelties event.

Is it better to get 8 hours of sleep or wake up at the same time? ›

Overall, it's best to go to bed earlier in the night and wake up early each day. Still, this type of sleep schedule may not work for everyone. It's far more important to make sure you get enough sleep and that it's good quality sleep. You can ensure this happens by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.

Is it realistic to work 8 hours a day? ›

Recent research says so. The 8-hour workday has been the norm for more than a century, but employee surveys suggest that most people are truly productive only for about three hours every day.

Does the brain need 8 hours of sleep? ›

A new report, issued on Jan. 10 by the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH), recommends seven to eight hours of sleep each day as a way to maintain brain health, even as one ages.

Why is it important to sleep at night than day? ›

Myth: It Doesn't Matter When You Sleep as Long as You Sleep Enough Hours. Studies have demonstrated that the timing of sleep matters, and it's best to sleep as much as possible during hours of darkness. Sleeping at night helps align the body's circadian rhythm, or internal clock, with its environment.

Why is it important to get enough sleep each night? ›

Good sleep improves your brain performance, mood, and health. Not getting enough quality sleep regularly raises the risk of many diseases and disorders. These range from heart disease and stroke to obesity and dementia.

Does sleeping over 8 hours make you more tired? ›

Research bears out the connection between too much sleep and too little energy. It appears that any significant deviation from normal sleep patterns can upset the body's rhythms and increase daytime fatigue.

What is the most natural time to sleep? ›

When it comes to bedtime, he says there's a window of several hours—roughly between 8 PM and 12 AM—during which your brain and body have the opportunity to get all the non-REM and REM shuteye they need to function optimally.

Why do we wake up at 3am? ›

Sleep Environment Disturbances

Nighttime noise4, such as sounds from outdoor traffic, televisions, or cell phones, is a significant cause of disturbed sleep. Similarly, exposure to light5 from an outdoor light shining through a window or even a dim nightlight can also cause a person to wake up during the night.

What happens if you sleep at 12 am? ›

Going to bed after midnight “can lead to chronic exhaustion and fatigue and even thyroid problems and burnout,” Ramlakhan says. According to Ramlakhan's research and experience working in the field of sleep science, many people who go to bed later tend to oversleep the next day.

How many hours does trump sleep? ›

On average, he gets about four to five hours per night.

How many hours does Bill Gates sleep? ›

Sleep routine: 7 hours

I knew I wasn't as sharp when I was operating mostly on caffeine and adrenaline, but I was obsessed with my work, and I felt that sleeping a lot was lazy,” he wrote on his blog. Today, Gates regularly gets at least seven hours of sleep per night.

Did Einstein slept 3 hours a year? ›

10 HOURS OF SLEEP AND ONE-SECOND NAPS

He reportedly slept for at least 10 hours per day – nearly one and a half times as much as the average American today (6.8 hours).

Why do billionaires wake up at 4am? ›

During the early waking moments of the morning, you can be fully alert and focused to due the brain chemistry at that time. You won't be overthinking and can naturally do the things you need to get off to as great start.

What time do billionaires go to sleep? ›

But the majority manage to get at least 6 hours, as you can see in the list below detailing the sleep habits of 10 highly successful people: Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX: 6 hours (1am — 7am) Tim Cook, CEO of Apple: 7 hours (9:30pm — 4:30am) Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft: 7 hours (12am — 7am)

How long does Jeff Bezos sleep? ›

Jeff Bezos has revealed his optimal sleep time in order to be the best he can at his job. The Amazon mogul's success is seen as the ultimate goal for entrepreneurs. "I get eight hours of sleep a night.

What time should I go to bed if I wake up at 7am? ›

If you need to wake up by 7am then count back 7.5 hours to find that bedtime is around 11.30pm. Make sure you're in bed before then so you're relaxed ready for sleep and allow yourself 15 minutes to drop off.

Is waking up at 4am healthy? ›

And experts warn even those who go to bed early enough to get eight hours of sleep still may be at risk for problems if they wake up at 4 a.m., Popescu writes.

Is it better to sleep 4 hours twice or 8 hours once? ›

A shocker for most, a study suggested that what may suit our bodies better than sleeping once a day is sleeping twice a day. Two shorter slumbers may suit our body clocks better than one long eight-hour sleep.

Why do we still work 8 hours? ›

An eight-hour work day has its origins in the 16th century Spain, but the modern movement dates back to the Industrial Revolution in Britain, where industrial production in large factories transformed working life.

Who decided the work day should be 8 hours? ›

In 1926, as many history scholars know, Henry Ford — possibly influenced by US labor unions — instituted an eight-hour work day for some of his employees. Because of Ford's stature, the move stimulated a national discussion.

Why you shouldn't work more than 8 hours a day? ›

Working long hours can even be hazardous to your health. Injury rates increase as work hours increase! Those who work 60 hours per week have a 23% higher injury rate. Working too much can disturb your sleep, appetite, blood pressure, immune system function, memory, cognition, mood, and a lot of other issues.

What makes a person sleep so much? ›

The most common causes of excessive sleepiness are sleep deprivation and disorders like sleep apnea and insomnia. Depression and other psychiatric problems, certain medications, and medical conditions affecting the brain and body can cause daytime drowsiness as well.

Why is sleeping at 10pm good? ›

Going to sleep between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. is associated with a lower risk of developing heart disease in comparison with earlier or later bedtimes, according to a study published Tuesday in the European Heart Journal — Digital Health.

What happens if we sleep in day and wake at night? ›

Staying awake all night and sleeping all day for just a few days can disrupt levels and time of day patterns of more than 100 proteins in the blood, including those that influence blood sugar, energy metabolism, and immune function, according to new University of Colorado Boulder research published in the journal PNAS ...

What happens if you sleep too much? ›

Too much sleep on a regular basis can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and death according to several studies done over the years. Too much is defined as greater than nine hours. The most common cause is not getting enough sleep the night before, or cumulatively during the week.

Which part of the night it is more important to sleep? ›

Scientists agree that sleep is essential to health, and while stages 1 to 4 and REM sleep are all important, deep sleep is the most essential of all for feeling rested and staying healthy. The average healthy adult gets roughly 1 to 2 hours of deep sleep per 8 hours of nightly sleep.

What sleeping less than 6 hours a night does to your brain? ›

Sleep deprivation leaves your brain exhausted, so it can't perform its duties as well. You may also find it more difficult to concentrate or learn new things. The signals your body sends may also be delayed, decreasing your coordination and increasing your risk for accidents.

Why am I still tired after sleeping 12 hours? ›

Hypersomnia is excessive sleepiness. There are many causes of excessive sleepiness, including insufficient or inadequate sleep, sleep disorders, medications and medical or psychiatric illnesses. The characteristics of hypersomnia vary from one person to the next depending on age, lifestyle and underlying causes.

Why 7 hours of sleep is not enough? ›

For adults, getting less than seven hours of sleep a night on a regular basis has been linked with poor health, including weight gain, having a body mass index of 30 or higher, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and depression.

Can I function with 7 hours of sleep? ›

Having trouble getting that ideal 8 hours of sleep? So is everyone else. But there's some good news — you may only need 7 hours of it. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the Sleep Research Society (SRS) have issued a new recommendation, saying seven is the magic sleep number for most healthy adults.

How much sleep do you need by age? ›

How Much Sleep Do I Need?
Age GroupRecommended Hours of Sleep Per Day
Newborn0–3 months14–17 hours (National Sleep Foundation)1 No recommendation (American Academy of Sleep Medicine)2
Teen13–18 years8–10 hours per 24 hours2
Adult18–60 years7 or more hours per night3
61–64 years7–9 hours1
5 more rows
14 Sept 2022

How much sleep is too much? ›

How Much Sleep Is Too Much? Sleep needs can vary from person to person, but in general, experts recommend that healthy adults get an average of 7 to 9 hours per night of shuteye. If you regularly need more than 8 or 9 hours of sleep per night to feel rested, it might be a sign of an underlying problem, Polotsky says.

Why do I sleep 14 hours a day? ›

Idiopathic Hypersomnia

This sleep disorder is characterized by difficulty waking13, excessive sleepiness, and the inability to feel rested after sleeping at night or napping during the day. With this disorder, you may sleep as much as 14 to 18 hours a day.

Is 7 or 8 hrs of sleep enough? ›

Sleep needs vary by person and are affected by several factors. However, for most adults, 7–9 hours per night is the ideal amount. Pay attention to how you feel during the day to determine whether you're getting the right amount for you. If you're sleeping enough, you should feel awake and energized during the day.

Is 6 or 8 hours of sleep better? ›

But how much sleep is best for your heart? A new analysis of 11 studies that included a total of more than 1 million adults without heart disease suggests the sweet spot is six to eight hours a night.

How much sleep do 100 year olds need? ›

Older adults need about the same amount of sleep as all adults—7 to 9 hours each night. But, older people tend to go to sleep earlier and get up earlier than they did when they were younger.

Why do I wake up at 4am? ›

For those of us who are waking up at odd times in the morning, more often than not, it's at the same time every day - sometime around 4am or 5am. This could be because of the simultaneous rise in cortisol levels and the brain's processing of emotional material early in the morning.

Videos

1. Why We Sleep: Science of Sleep & Dreams | Matthew Walker | Talks at Google
(Talks at Google)
2. Dr. Matthew Walker: The Science & Practice of Perfecting Your Sleep | Huberman Lab Podcast #31
(Andrew Huberman)
3. What would happen if you didn’t sleep? - Claudia Aguirre
(TED-Ed)
4. Joe Rogan Experience #1109 - Matthew Walker
(PowerfulJRE)
5. How Much Sleep Do I Need? | Sadhguru
(Sadhguru)
6. The benefits of a good night's sleep - Shai Marcu
(TED-Ed)

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