Wouldn’t it be great if we could sleep for four hours and feel as sharp and energized as we do when we sleep for eight? While this would certainly give us more time to do the things we love, according to Dr. Sigrid Veasey, a sleep expert interviewed for a story in the New York Times, it’s impossible to train ourselves to perform at our peak with less shut-eye. We only come to believe we can get by on less sleep because long-term sleep deprivation makes us less accurate at judging how much rest we actually need—most adults need around seven to nine hours every night, while those over 65 need seven to eight hours. Children and teenagers have longer sleep requirements.
The best way to figure out how much slumber you personally need is on your next vacation—sleep as long as you need to catch up on lost z’s. After that, monitor yourself to see how many hours you naturally sleep. Also, be sure to practice good bedtime habits to make sure your sleep isn’t being artificially disrupted; for example, by caffeine in the afternoon or evening, or by late-night video game sessions.
Source: New York Times