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How Much Sleep Should You Be Getting?

The kids are asleep, it's the end of the day, and you haven't seen your partner because you have both been working all hit the next episode in your favorite show & just like that you are both crawling into bed at a time WAY later than expected. You may wake up exhausted and then repeat this cycle nightly. This is the case for a LOT of us. But do you know how much sleep you actually need to be getting? It's been ingrained in our head that 8 hours is the magic number, but depending on your gender, age & hormones this number can be different for everyone.

Why getting enough ZZZ's matters

Everyone knows getting a good night's rest makes for a better next day. On the other hand, we've all experienced the dread of waking up and the brain fog that comes with not getting enough sleep. Simply put sleep is just as important as being awake. When you're sleeping your body as a matter of fact isn't. There are a whole lot of things going on behind those shut eyes that we may not be aware of.

Here are just a few things that happen when you've drifted off into dreamland:
  • Your brain is processing and regulating emotions & memories

  • Your body is healing tissues and building muscle

  • Immunity is boosted in the body

Why everyone needs different hours of sleep

We have been told all our life that 8 hours is the right number of hours, but new research has shown there is not one sleep schedule that fits the needs of all. Our internal body clocks vary so greatly that they could form the next frontiers of personalized medicine. Some people thrive in the morning, rising early; others are night owls, who like staying up late. This is largely in part by our circadian rhythm or internal clock, but oddly enough people can manipulate this system.

These biological processes vary from person to person owing to environmental factors (such as light exposure) and genetics. And this is why our sleep schedules show such variation. The amount of sleep a person needs depends on many things, including their age. However, experts say that you haven't had enough sleep if you feel drowsy during the day, even during boring activities. So the reason that you need nine hours of sleep to feel rested while your co-worker seems fine after six could come down to DNA.

How much sleep do I need?

There is no magic number that fits everyone. Ultimately how you feel when you wake up is the best indicator of your sleep quality. Waking up feeling energized is a good sign that you got the right amount of sleep for your body. Waking up and feeling tired & groggy throughout the day could mean you should see more sleep in your future. By listening to our internal clock, it can be astounding how dramatic the results can be on your health.

The best way to find your perfect number is to experiment! Play around with setting an alarm, so you get 7.5 hours and nine hours of sleep to start, corresponding to five and six sleep cycles. You'll need a sleep journal so you can track how you feel upon rising for the day. Once you figure out your ideal number STICK to it!! Like so much of health, sleep is highly individualized, and only you know how much sleep you need to feel your best the next morning.

Practical solutions for living your life optimized!


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