How Many Hours do We Need to Sleep? What Is the Minimum?

We all need an average of 7.5 to 8 hours of daily sleep, however, each one of us is unique, not an average. Therefore each one of us should know exactly what is our own body’s sleep needs.

To do this, we must take into account that statistically people need between 5 to 10 hours per day of sleep, and the majority of us need between 7.5 to 8 hours. There are very few people that need just 5 hours of daily sleep, and few people that need more than 9.5 hours. This information has its relevance in the fact that we must place ourselves within the range of 5 to 10 hours of sleep to function efficiently.
So how can we figure out for how long we need to sleep every day to be productive and alert?
Let’s answer this question through an example: Let’s say it is a 20 year old girl.
This girl has been staying up late for some days now, because she had to submit some projects for school, and she is going on vacation next week. The first thing she needs to do is to pay her accumulated sleep debt. Once she has done this, she must pay attention to her own body’s needs. She has to figure out how many hours of sleep she particularly needs to feel fully rested.
What does it mean to be fully rested? It means she will find it easy to wake up in the morning, she will be fully awake (not sleepy) during the daytime, she will be able to concentrate easily, and she will be in a good mood.
Therefore, she can figure out that she didn’t get enough sleep when she feels drowsy during the day, she finds it hard to get out of bed, she’s irritable, she has problems concentrating, and/or she unintentionally naps in the movies or while watching TV.
Through these observations the girl can figure out her own personal sleep needs, in this particular case she determined she needed 8 hours of sleep every night to be at her best.

About the minimum sleep we need… there is no bargaining here, the sleep we need is what it is, and if we get less sleep than needed, our body and the way we function gets negatively affected. We can see the effects of sleep deprivation in our performance and our health…