“You don’t need sleep! The more you sleep the less you live!” – That annoying YOLO guy
I feel like I read more opinions on the web about how much sleep you need than I do about how to lose weight and get a six pack!
While getting enough sleep is hugely important, the question that we typically don’t have a straight answer for is “How much sleep do you really need?”
This is not an easy question to answer because there are way too many gurus with way too many opinions.
According to The Sleep Foundation, here are the recommended amount based on age:
- Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)
- Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)
- Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)
- Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)
- School-age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
- Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
- Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
- Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)
These numbers may sound pretty decent, but do they match the reality though?
In today’s fast-paced society, six or seven hours of sleep may sound pretty good.
In reality, though, it’s a recipe for chronic sleep deprivation.
Because our bodies need more downtime.
With the ever-changing complex world we live in, our work and social life are getting more and more intertwined every day.
It is difficult to separate one from the other.
Even the complexity of what we do is increasing. We are constantly working in a more dynamic and multitasking environment.
Imagine what this means for our poor brains who is constantly trying to cope with all of this information overload day after day.
REM Sleep, or very deep restful sleep, is the ONLY way our brain is able to come to a total resting phase and recharge for another day of constant micro-computations.
Personally, I run a PR agency among like fifty other things.
I work almost 60 hours a week.
But…I also sleep 9-10 hours a day!
I NEED this amount of sleep to be awake and functioning at my peak levels.
Because think about it, if you are tired, you will not be performing at peak levels.
So, basically, you begin to sacrifice accuracy and efficiency just to gain more time on the clock.
Is it really worth it?
Wouldn’t you rather work really well and efficiently for 6 hours a day than 8 hours a day being super tired and sleepy all day long?
So, for me, it’s a no-brainer.
I do not care who calls me or texts me, how many meetings I could schedule, or what important tasks I need to finish, I make sure to not get out of bed until my body is fully rested and is ready to wake up.
I even use a software tool called mSpy sms tracker which actually stops me from being able to reply back or see incoming texts!
Getting enough sleep is so crucial for my business that I am willing to neglect calls from even friends and family during my sleep time.
In fact, I just recently invested quite a lot of money in high-quality mattresses. I have a friend over at The Sleep Judge who I personally know and he was able to get me exactly what I needed.
I also invested in a really good alarm clock from a website called “Best Advisor”.
I personally like to use the Wacky Wake-up Alarm Clock which was specifically designed for heavy sleepers like myself.
Not that long ago, when I was living in Los Angeles, I went to Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof conference.
I learned several sleep hacking techniques from that conference such as turning off all lights and having a pitch dark room, not doing any other work in the bedroom besides sleeping, not looking at any screens and lights 30 mins before sleep, etc.
I shared a few more on my personal blog also if you are interested in biohacking your sleep.
I feel horrible if I do not get at least 8 hours of sleep.
I do not feel productive at all, to be honest.
So, how many hours of sleep do you need?
Do you also necessarily have to sleep 10 hours a day like me?
I would say, “No.”
Think of sleep as a natural process – Go to bed when you are tired. Get up when you are fully rested.
If you go to bed and can’t sleep, get up and do something and do not go to bed until the next night.
The reality is that you can actually “make up” sleep, contrary to popular belief.
Our bodies do not run on a 24-hour cycle, but rather on its own circadian rhythm.
So, as long as you can make up lost sleep within the cycle your body goes through, you should be just fine.
But if you do miss a bit of sleep, do not worry too much.
Just keep focusing on your work and other daily activities.
Your body will naturally fall asleep when it needs to.
So, entrepreneurs – How many hours of sleep do YOU get per night?
Photo: Getty Images