How much sleep do you need?
Total Sleep is the time spent in bed when you were actually asleep. A restful night’s sleep for most people ranges from 6 to 9 hours. What counts the most is how rested you feel, and that you make small improvements when you feel you need more sleep.
If you fall asleep in approximately 15–20 minutes, don’t need an alarm to wake up, and generally feel rested, there is a good chance you are getting the correct amount of sleep for your body.
The amount of sleep you need can change as you age. Experts recommend 12–15 hours of sleep per day for infants, while school aged children should generally sleep between 9–11 hours, teenagers might need between 8–10 hours of sleep, and most adults should aim for between 7–9 hours of sleep.
Improving your Total Sleep
Research has shown that the single best thing you can do to improve your sleep is to get on a sleep schedule. Consistently going to bed and waking up at approximately the same time helps take control of your internal clock, which in turn will help you fall asleep more easily at night and wake up more rested.
Once you choose an ideal bedtime, make gradual changes to let your body adjust slowly. For example, if you are aiming to go to sleep at 10pm instead of midnight, start by going to bed at 11:45pm for a few nights, then 11:30pm, and so on.
Sleep hygiene, or certain lifestyle choices that can affect sleep, also plays an important role in sleeping well. Try to avoid bright light and stimulants like caffeine or alcohol at night, aim to eat your last meal two to three hours before bedtime, so you don’t go to sleep either too full or too hungry, consider adding exercise to your daily routine, and keep a cool, quiet bedroom environment.