How much sleep do you really need to function at your best?

One of the factors that affect how much sleep you really need is your age. Generally we need a little less when we reach 65 years of age and over.

But here’s something that might surprise you. Another factor that affects our need for sleep is the type of tiredness we are experiencing the most during the day.

In this week’s video I cover several things for working out the optimal amount of sleep for yourself. Something to consider is whether your tiredness is more mental or more physical.


“When we are experiencing mental tiredness, often it’s difficult to get enough sleep to overcome that feeling.”


From the things I mention in the video, these three are very simple to implement and will have a fast effect.

Consider your type of tiredness

If you think back to a time you were more physically tired, perhaps on a day off where you got some exercise outside, then you may also remember having a really refreshing sleep afterwards. It’s a nice feeling when that happens!

But if you are more mentally tired, which often comes from sitting at a computer all day, then you will find it harder to get a really refreshing sleep. Consider the quality and the quantity. Remember to use the tips you have picked up from my previous videos (or download the free resources at the bottom of this page) to help you improve the quality of your sleep.

Also keep in mind that with mental tiredness it might take a little longer asleep to fully recharge your batteries. If you fall into the young adult or adult age categories I mentioned in the video, then you know you need between 7 and 9 hours sleep per night. Experiment with just a little more sleep than you usually get when not so mentally tired.


Don’t put yourself under too much pressure

The tip above leads nicely on to this one. If you need more sleep, increase by small amounts, like 20 minutes or so at a time, so it’s not too much of a challenge. Getting to bed 20 minutes earlier is much easier than wrapping up your day a whole hour sooner.

Build up to getting a longer sleep gradually. Worrying too much about how much you get could damage the quality of your sleep through worry or anxiety. Do your best to relax about it.


Be realistic about your sleep goals

Sometimes new clients come to me wanting to make big improvements to the amount of sleep they get, almost overnight. What you really need to do first is to get to the bottom of what has been keeping you awake at night so far.

Just ‘trying’ to use tips you’ve found online without really understanding the root cause of your problem isn’t going to give you a satisfactory outcome. So begin with looking deeper at your own personal issues. Only once you understand what keeps you awake at night, will you be able to choose the right tools and techniques for yourself.

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