The National Sleep Foundation has published a paper suggesting that not everyone needs eight hours of sleep every night. Some people need more, some less. Depending on age, sex, physical health, genetics and more, each person may be different in their sleep requirement.
Dr. Michael H. Bonnet, Professor of Neurology at Wright State University School of Medicine and Director of the Sleep Laboratory at the Dayton Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Ohio said in an interview, “We are all different. You need enough sleep so you can awaken feeling refreshed without an alarm clock.”
Dr. Bonnet suggests that if a person needs an alarm clock to wake up in the morning, they’re not getting enough sleep.
The dangers of sleep deprivation are all too well known- car accidents, heart attacks, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and much more.
How to find out how much sleep you need
Dr. Michael Breus, Clinical Director of the Sleep Division for Arrowhead Health in Glendale, Arizona and the author of “Beauty Sleep,” said in an interview, “There is still quite a bit of mystery to sleep and everybody’s sleep need is individualized and will change over the course of time.
He suggests there isn’t one single answer for everybody, but does give this suggestion to find out how much sleep your own body needs.
If you need an alarm clock to wake you up, try going to bed fifteen minutes earlier every night. If after a few days, you still need an alarm, keep going to bed fifteen minutes earlier until you no longer need an alarm to wake you.
He also suggests that attention be paid to the amount of caffeine consumed in the morning and during the day to stay awake. If you’re drinking a lot of coffee or sodas, you’re probably not getting enough sleep.
What if that’s not the problem?
Dr. Breus does give a fair warning that this exercise isn’t the cure-all. If you’re getting at least seven and a half uninterrupted hours of sleep every night, or you don’t sleep through the night, you might need to see a sleep therapist.
Problems such as stress, depression, sleep apnea or other conditions need to be addressed so you can get the sleep and rest you need.
Don’t hesitate to admit you aren’t sleeping through the night. Check with your doctor and your insurance company to find out if sleep therapy is covered by your plan. If not, your doctor may prescribe exercises or mild sleep aids to help you sleep. Alternatively, there might be a sleep study being conducted in your area. Your doctor can help you find out.
This article is untended for diagnosis of any medical condition nor advocate or prescribe any specific medication or treatment. Always seek the advice of a licensed physician for proper diagnosis or treatment of any disease or condition.
Source: Denise Mann, “How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?” Web MD Website, 30 November, 2010